Timeline of same-sex marriage: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legal recognition of
same-sex couples
Same-sex marriage


South Africa

Performed in some jurisdictions

Mexico: DF
United States: CT, DC, IA, MA, NH, VT, Coquille

Recognized, not performed

Aruba (Dutch only)
Netherlands Antilles (Dutch only)
United States: CA (conditional), MD, NY, RI

Civil unions and
registered partnerships

Czech Republic

New Caledonia
New Zealand
Wallis and Futuna
United Kingdom

Performed in some jurisdictions

Argentina: BA, RC, RN, VCP
Australia: ACT, TAS, VIC
Mexico: COA
United States: CA, CO, HI, ME, NJ, NV, OR, WA, WI
Venezuela: ME

Recognized, not performed

Isle of Man (UK only)

Unregistered co-habitation



In some regions

United States: MD, RI

Jurisdictions with current or recent debates on SSUs

China (PRC)
ROC (Taiwan)
Congo (DRC)
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Faroe Islands

Netherlands Antilles
South Korea

United States: AL, AS, AZ, DE, FL, GU, IL, LA, MI, MN, MT, NM, NC, OH, PA, PR, SC, UT, WV, WY, Native Americans

See also

Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage legislation
Timeline of same-sex marriage
Civil union
Domestic partnership
Registered partnership
Civil partnership
Listings by country

LGBT portal
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This page contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage and legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide in modern history, followed by a timeline of notable same-sex marriages and unions.


Significant events regarding recognition of same-sex couples


  • March 4: Same-sex marriage law becomes effective in Mexico City.[1]
  • March 3: Slovenia's lower house passes same-sex marriage law in the first reading by 46-38.[2]
  • March 3: Same-sex marriage law becomes effective in the District of Columbia.
  • February 11: The Portuguese Parliament passes same-sex marriage law in the second reading. It still has to be signed by the President.[3]
  • January 27: The Dail (the Lower House of the Irish Parliament) passes the Second Stage of the Civil Partnership Bill, 2009. The Bill, which falls just short of same sex civil marriage, is now at the Committee Stage which is provisionally listed to take place on March 24.
  • January 8: Portugal's Assembly of the Republic passes same-sex marriage law in the first reading by 125-99.[4]
  • January 1: Same-sex marriage law became effective in New Hampshire and registered partnership law became effective in Austria.


  • December 29: Mexico City's Head of Government ("Mayor") Marcelo Ebrard signs same-sex marriage bill into law.[5]
  • December 28: The first same-sex marriage in Argentina and Latin America is conducted in Ushuaia, province of Tierra del Fuego. The same couple that was allowed -and later denied- to marry in Buenos Aires is successfully issued a marriage license after Governor Fabiana Ríos's intervention.[6]
  • December 21: Mexico City's Legislative Assembly legalizes same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The law was passed by 39-20. Civil unions had been available since 2007, but full marriage was not yet recognized.[7]
  • December 18: The District of Columbia legalizes same-sex marriage when Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the the same-sex marriage bill approved by the DC Council into law. This made DC the eighth jurisdiction in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage. In order to take effect the law needs to survive a 30 day review period of Congress.[8]
  • December 15: The District of Columbia passes the same sex marriage performance law in the second reading by 11-2. The bill is sent to Mayor Adrian Fenty to be signed.[9]
  • December 3: Washington state "all-but-marriage" law becomes effective after 54 percent approval by voters in that state on November 3.
  • December 1: The District of Columbia passes the same sex marriage performance law in the first reading by 11-2. There is one more reading to go yet.
  • November 30: A national judge in Same-sex marriage in Argentina|Argentina blocks the marriage authorized by a previous ruling in Buenos Aires, creating a judiciary conflict. The wedding -originally supposed to be held the following day, on December 1- is suspended until further notice.
  • November 13: A court in Buenos Aires, Argentina rules that a gay couple should be issued a marriage license. The mayor of the city does not appeal the sentence and the first same-sex marriage in Latin America is expected to be conducted in the following days. [1]
  • November 4: Ballot measure in Maine overturns same-sex marriage[2] while Ballot measure in Washington upholds "everything-but-marriage."[3]
  • November 3: Both Washington "everything-but-marriage" law and Maine same-sex marriage have ballots for the laws.
  • October 22: Swedish Lutheran Church approves same sex marriage to commence on November 1.
  • October 1: Domestic partnership law become effective in Nevada.
  • September 28: Oregon fixed up the domestic partnership legislation to include surnames.
  • September 1: Same-sex marriage became legal in Vermont.
  • August 3: Domestic partnerships (that provide a limited amount of legal rights to same-sex couples) became legal in Wisconsin.
  • July 6: The District of Columbia recognizes same-sex marriage, but cannot be performed in DC itself, the same as with New York.
  • July 1: Registered partnerships become legal in Hungary. Australia recognizes unregistered cohabitation. Colorado recognizes designated beneficiary agreements.[10] (similar to the U.S. state of Hawaii).
  • June 3: New Hampshire legalizes same-sex marriage.[11]
  • May 31: Nevada approves domestic partnerships by an overwhelming majority after an override of the Governors veto (the Nevada domestic partnership law is modeled on the California and Oregon models).
  • May 26: California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8, constitutionally defining marriage between a man and a woman, but rules that previously officiated same-sex marriages shall remain valid.
  • May 18: Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire signs the "everything-but-marriage" bill into law [4] [5], but may face a challenge with Referendum 71 being filed.
  • May 6: Maine legalizes same-sex marriage.
  • May 1: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Sweden.
  • April 27: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Iowa following the Iowa Supreme Court decision.
  • April 20: Hungarian Parliament approves registered partnership bill.
  • April 16: Gov. David A. Paterson unveils same-sex marriage bill for New York.[12]
  • April 7: Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage.
  • April 3: Iowa legalizes same-sex marriage after its Supreme Court struck down a provision limiting marriage to one man and one woman.[13]
  • April 1: Sweden legalizes same-sex marriage.
  • March 27: Japan approves its nationals to marry same-sex foreign partners in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.[14]
  • January 28: The Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as opposite-sex couples in common-law marriages. The ruling means that civil and political rights such as nationality, residency, housing protection, and state benefits are now granted to same-sex partners.[15]
  • January 1: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Norway.



  • On November 29, the first foreign gay wedding is held in Hanoi, Vietnam between a Japanese and an Irish national. The wedding raises much attention in the gay and lesbian community in Vietnam.[16]
  • September 18: Maryland Court of Appeals upholds state law banning same-sex marriage, overturning a lower court ruling.
  • August 30: Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act was struck down as unconstitutional as a result of a legal challenge. The state has announced plans to appeal, but couples began applying for marriage licenses immediately in anticipation of an injunction. About 20 couples obtained marriage licenses and one couple married before the judge issued a stay of his ruling pending appeal.[17]
  • June 23: In Colombia A landmark gay rights bill was derailed at the last minute by a bloc of conservative senators, but supporters vowed to revive the legislation. The bill, which had been endorsed by conservative President Álvaro Uribe, would have made Colombia the first nation in Latin America to grant gay couples in long-term relationships the same rights to health insurance, inheritance and social security as heterosexual couples. Although states and cities have passed laws allowing gay couples to share assets, no other country in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region has done so at a national level. Colombia's Constitutional Court recognized similar rights to shared property and inheritance in February, but the decision did not mention health insurance or social security.
  • June 14: In the Massachusetts legislature, a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is defeated in a vote of 154 against and 46 in favor. 50 votes in favor would have been required for the amendment to go on the ballot for a popular vote in the 2008 elections.
  • May 31: The state of New Hampshire legalizes civil unions, to take effect on January 1, 2008.
  • May 9: The state of Oregon legalizes domestic partnerships. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2008 (but was delayed 48 hours prior to coming into effect, then after a court case in February it was allowed to come into effect from February 1, 2008).
  • April 21: The state of Washington legalizes domestic partnerships. The law went into effect on July 22, 2007.
  • January 12: The Mexican state of Coahuila legalizes civil unions. It is the first state to do so in Mexico and the second entity (after the government of Federal District, which rules Mexico City). However, the law took effect in Coahuila first.
  • January 1: In Switzerland a law of civil unions takes effect.


  • December 7: Canada's Members of Parliament rejected Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s motion to re-open the equal marriage debate. The motion was defeated 175–123, and every political party had more MPs supporting same-sex marriage than in the previous vote. The prime minister declared the issue "settled".
  • November 28: South Africa's Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, signs bill into law, making it an enforceable act. Same-sex couples are legally able to get married under this act as of December 1, 2006.[18]
  • November 14: South Africa's parliament approved legislation recognizing same-sex marriage. The bill provides for the "voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnized and registered by either a marriage or civil union." It allows individual marriage officers not to perform a ceremony if doing so conflicts with their "conscience, religion and belief."[19]
  • November 9: The Legislative Assembly of Mexico City passes a civil union law that recognizes same sex couples for the first time in Mexico.
  • November 7: In the U.S. elections, Arizona rejects an initiative banning same-sex marriage. The first state in the country to do so. However, seven other states pass marriage amendments.
  • October 25: New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of marriage equality; 4–3 say decision whether to rewrite marriage law or write civil union law for homosexuals (separate but equal debate) is left to the legislature in the next six months. The three dissenting justices dissented because they believed same-sex couples should have the full right to marry.[20]
  • July 26: Washington State Supreme Court issues its decision upholding state DOMA laws
  • July 23: Slovenia's same-sex civil union law made effective.
  • July 6: New York State Court of Appeals rules that the NYS Constitution does not mandate recognition of same sex marriage.
  • June 20: The law allowing adoption by same-sex couples is published in the Belgian Official Journal.
  • May 18: King Albert II of Belgium signs the bill allowing adoption by same-sex couples into law.
  • April 20: Belgium: The Senate approves legislation allowing adoption by same-sex couples with 34 votes in favour versus 33 against with 2 abstentions. The bill has now passed both Chambers and is sent to the King for promulgation on May 4.
  • March 15: The Czech Republic passes a law of civil unions, takes effect July 1.


  • Uganda[21] and Latvia amend their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage.
  • December 19: The first civil partnership ceremony in Northern Ireland takes place. Two days later the first ceremonies are held in England and Wales.
  • December 5: The United Kingdom's legalization of civil partnerships comes into force.
  • December 1: Belgium: The Chamber of Representatives approves legislation allowing adoption by same-sex couples with 77 votes in favor versus 62 against with 7 abstentions. The bill is sent to the Senate, which decides to review it on December 14.
  • December 1: The Constitutional Court of South Africa unanimously finds restrictions on same-sex marriage in South Africa unconstitutional.
  • November 8: United States: Texas becomes the 18th state to write a ban on same-sex marriage into its constitution, defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman" and prohibiting the state from "creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage," when voters approved the amendment in the November elections.
  • July 19: Canada: the Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-38) is passed by the Canadian Senate. It became law on July 20 after receiving Royal Assent.
  • June 30: Spain: The Congress of Deputies passed the same-sex marriage bill for a second time, overruling the rejection of the Spanish Senate a week before. The law took effect on July 3, after it was publicized in the official government registry. King Juan Carlos, who holds a right of veto, expeditiously granted the law his Royal Assent the day after the law was passed.
  • June 28: Canada: Canadian House of Commons passes Bill C-38, which will legalize same-sex marriage.
  • June 23: Canada: A judge in New Brunswick rules that same-sex couples have the right to equal marriage in that province.
  • June 5: A referendum is passed in Switzerland giving same sex couples the same inheritance and tax rights as married heterosexual couples. Switzerland's is a direct democracy and this referendum is binding.
  • May 12: United States: A federal judge in Omaha strikes down Nebraska's sweeping ban on same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships, and other same-sex relationships. U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled that the ban, known as Initiative 416, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This is the first state constitutional provision banning same-sex marriage to be ruled unconstitutional.
  • April 21: marriage bill passed by Spain's lower house of parliament.
  • April 7: United States: The Connecticut State Senate passes legislation that legalizes same-sex civil unions. On April 13, the bill is passed through the Connecticut House of Representatives with the added "marriage is between a man and a woman" definition. The bill is sent back to the Senate for approval. Finally, on April 20, the State Senate approved the amended bill by a vote of 26-8 and Republican Governor Jodi Rell signed the same-sex civil union bill into law.
  • April 7: United States: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg orders city agencies to recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states and countries. This order will give same-sex couples who married in places such as Massachusetts or Canada rights that couples recognized under the city's existing domestic partnership law do not have, including the power to make life-or-death medical decisions. Same-sex spouses will also be able to collect worker's compensation if a partner dies.
  • March 14: United States: Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco County Superior Court said California's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
  • February 22: United Kingdom: The British government announces December 5, 2005 as the implementation date for the Civil Partnership Act. Ceremonies can begin from December 19, 2005 in Northern Ireland, December 20 in Scotland and December 21 in England and Wales, after the mandatory waiting period, although under special circumstances the waiting period can be waived.
  • February 1: Canada: Bill C-38, which would extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples across all of Canada, introduced in the House of Commons.
  • January 27: Sweden: The Swedish government announces the launching of a report into whether same-sex marriage should be legalized.
  • January 19: United States: The Louisiana Supreme Court reinstated the anti-gay marriage amendment that had been struck by a District Judge in October, 2004.[22]


  • Luxembourg passes a law of civil unions and takes effect.
  • December 9: Canada: Acting on a reference question from Parliament, the Canadian Supreme Court states that a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Canada would be constitutional. Prime Minister Paul Martin says his government will introduce same-sex marriage legislation in January.
  • December 8: Israel: The Israeli government indicates that it will recognize same-sex partnerships for certain benefits, and will introduce legislation formalizing this status.
  • December 8: New Zealand: Parliament passes civil union legislation by 65 votes to 55. The new law provides a way for de facto couples, including same-sex couples, to gain legal recognition of their relationships, but stops short of same-sex marriage.
  • November 30: South Africa: A South African court rules that the common law concept of marriage must be extended to include same-sex couples. Although the ruling does not immediately permit same-sex marriage in South Africa, it is considered a major step in that direction.
  • November 26: Canada: In one of Canada's largest class-action lawsuits, the Ontario Court of Appeal upholds a lower court ruling whereby Canadians whose same-sex partners died after April 1985 are entitled to Canada Pension Plan survivors' benefits.
  • November 17: United Kingdom: The British House of Lords passes the Civil Partnership Act to allow same-sex couples to obtain civil partnerships. This is the final legislative hurdle for the bill, becomes law on receiving Royal Assent by Queen Elizabeth II on November 18. Gay couples had to wait until December 2005 before the act comes into force, the delay being necessary to allow administrative changes.
  • November 9: Ireland: An Irish High Court judge rules that a lesbian couple who married in Canada may proceed with their case seeking to have their marriage recognized for the purposes of Irish tax law.
  • November 5: Canada: A judge in Saskatchewan rules that same-sex couples must enjoy the right to equal marriage in that province.
  • November 4: Canada: Two lesbian couples denied marriage licenses file a lawsuit against the governments of Canada and of Newfoundland and Labrador, asking for the legalization of same-sex marriage in that province.
  • November 3: United States Results of November 2 vote confirms that state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage are passed in eleven states: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah. The measures in Oregon, Mississippi, and Montana bar same-sex marriage only; those in the other states bar civil unions and domestic partnerships as well; and Michigan bars granting any benefits whatsoever to same-sex couples.
  • October: United States: Louisiana - District Judge William Morvant of Baton Rouge struck down the amendment, approved by voters in September, on the grounds that it violated a provision of the state constitution requiring that an amendment to cover only one subject; the amendment prevented the state from recognizing any legal status for common-law relationships, domestic partnerships and civil unions between both gay and heterosexual couples.[22]
  • September 18: United States: Louisiana voters ratified a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.[23]
  • August 13 : Australia bans same-sex marriage. See[24]
  • May 17: United States: Massachusetts - first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. performed.
  • February 20: In New Mexico, Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap issues marriage licenses to more than 60 same-sex couples until stopped by the state attorney general later that day, declaring them invalid; 26 couples were married by local pastors on the courthouse steps that day, and most of the other couples who received licenses married elsewhere. A district court later issued an injunction prohibiting Dunlap from issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Dunlap's motion to the state supreme court to lift the restraining order was rejected on July 8.
  • February 12: United States, California: Newly-elected San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom issues the first same-sex marriage certificates in the U.S., purely as an exercise of executive power. These certificates were later nullified by the California Supreme Court.
  • February 6 : A new circular by Belgian Minister of Justice Laurette Onkelinx allows all binational same-sex marriages. To get married, whatever the sex, one of future spouses must be either Belgian or a registered resident, that means more than 3 months legal stay in Belgium. This prevents matrimonial tourism.


  • November 18: United States: Massachusetts: decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
  • July 14: Croatia: Same-sex union law accepted by Croatian parliament Sabor. It grants same-sex partners who have cohabited for at least 3 years the same rights as enjoyed by unmarried cohabiting opposite sex partners; only inheritance and financial support.[25] Croatia was one of the first former socialist states that recognized same sex couples, after Hungary.
  • June 17: Canada: The Canadian government announces that it will not appeal the Ontario appeals court ruling that permitted same-sex marriage. Instead, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien indicates that his government will introduce legislation to change the definition of marriage.
  • June 10: Canada: The Court of Appeal for Ontario rules that the law restricting marriage to heterosexual couples contravenes the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court does not permit the province any grace time to bring its law in conformity with the ruling. Thus, Ontario has become the first jurisdiction in North America to recognize same-sex marriages. Toronto announces that its city clerk will begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and two same-sex couples who filed suit have their marriages retroactively recognized. On June 11, the attorney general of Ontario announces that his government will conform to the court ruling.
  • June 1: Belgium: The law permitting same-sex civil marriage comes into force. A circular by Minister of Justice Marc Verwilghen limits it to marriage between Belgians or between Belgian and Dutch persons.
  • May 1: Canada: The British Columbia Court of Appeal becomes the first provincial court of appeal to rule that the Canadian government must legally recognize same-sex marriage.
  • February 28: Belgium: The law extending civil marriage to same-sex couples is published in the Belgian Official Journal. In accordance with article 23 of the law, it will come into force on the first day of the fourth month after that in which it was published.
  • February 13: Belgium: King Albert II signs the bill extending civil marriage to same-sex couples into law.
  • January 30: Belgium: The Chamber of Representatives approves legislation extending civil marriage to same-sex couples with 91 votes in favor versus 22 against with 9 abstentions. The bill has now passed both Chambers and is sent to the King for promulgation.


  • December 13: Argentina: The City Legislature of Buenos Aires passes bill 1004 to provide a same-sex civil union registry.
  • November 28: Belgium: The Senate approves legislation extending civil marriage to same-sex couples with 46 votes in favor versus 15 against with 4 abstentions. The bill is sent to the Chamber of Representatives.
  • July 12: Canada: Ontario Superior Court of Justice rules that January 14, 2001 marriages are legal, but stays judgment pending appeal. (Upheld June 10, 2003; see Same-sex marriage in Ontario.)
  • June 5: Sweden: Law passed allowing same-sex couples to apply for adoption.
  • March 26, 2003–Decided June 26, 2003: Texas Supreme Court Lawrence v. Texas. Responding to a reported weapons disturbance in a private residence, Houston police entered petitioner Lawrence's apartment and saw him and another adult man, petitioner Garner, engaging in a private, consensual sexual act. Petitioners were arrested and convicted of deviate sexual intercourse in violation of a Texas statute forbidding two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct. In affirming, the State Court of Appeals held, inter alia, that the statute was not unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[26]


  • September 28: Finland: The Eduskunta (Parliament of Finland) passes a law on the "registered partnership", which allows two members of the same sex to register their partnership and gain much of the same rights and duties as married couples. (Adoption was not included.) The law came into force on March 1, 2002.[27]
  • August 1: Germany legally allows life partnerships for same-sex couples.
  • April 1: Netherlands: Laws that permit marriage for same-sex couples and grant same-sex couples adoption rights come into effect. Four same-sex couples are married at the stroke of midnight by the Mayor of Amsterdam. Civil servants in charge of marrying couples in the Netherlands are allowed to refuse to marry gay couples if they claim they are morally opposed to it, but only if they had been hired before the legalization. Anyone hired after that date cannot refuse to do so without being fired.
  • March 15: Portugal: The existing União de Facto law (non-registered civil partnership) is changed to include same-sex partners. Child adoption is only allowed for opposite-sex partners.
  • February 14: Same-sex couples from Marriage Equality USA began asking for marriage licenses in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco including Davina Kotulski and Molly McKay.
  • January 14: Canada: Two same-sex marriages were performed in Ontario, of Kevin Bourassa to Joe Varnell and Elaine Vautour to Anne Vautour, by Rev. Brent Hawkes.[28] Although registration of the marriages was initially denied, a successful court challenge upheld their legality on June 10, 2003, thus retroactively making them the first legal same-sex marriages in modern times.[29]


  • December 21: Netherlands: Queen Beatrix signs the marriage bill into law. It went in effect on April 1, 2001.
  • December 19: Netherlands: The Senate approves legislation that opens marriage for same-sex couples.
  • September 12: Netherlands: The House of Representatives approves legislation that opens marriage for same-sex couples with majority of 109 against 33 votes.
  • April 1: Vermont becomes the first place in the world to recognise the rights of same sex couples after a Court ruling and so invented the term "civil union".
  • January 1: Belgium: Legislation allowing for "registered partnership" comes into effect.


  1. creates a relationship register for both gay and straight couples (called "Pacte civil de solidarité" abbreviated as "PaCS"); and
  2. redefines the non-registered partnership as the stable union between two adults regardless of their gender (before this law, previous decisions of the French highest Court ruled that there could be no couple without appearance of marriage, therefore excluding gay people from any vision of family).


  • November 3: Hawaii voters, by a 69-31% margin, vote to amend the state's constitution to give the legislature sole jurisdiction over marriage laws and to prohibit intervention by state courts.
  • January 1 - Netherlands - "registered partnership" legalized.


  • December 19: The Hawaii State Supreme Court rules that the state statute prohibiting same-sex marriage is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Hawaii State Constitution. The Court would issue a stay on its ruling the next day.




  • January 1: 45 out of the 50 states in the US define a marriage under statute as being between a man and a woman.


  • August 1: Norway's "registered partnership" comes into in effect (law passed on April 30, 1993)
  • May 5: The Hawaii State Supreme Court rules in Baehr v. Lewin that the Hawaii state statute limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is presumed to be unconstitutional unless the state can present a "compelling state interest" justifying the same-sex marriage ban.


  • October 20: 40 of the 50 states in the US now define marriage under statute as being a union between a man and a woman.


  • October 1: Denmark: World's first modern legally recognized same-sex unions called "registered partnership".


  • September 1: City of Berkeley in California is the first place in the world to invent the term "domestic partnership", by providing a domestic partnership registry and then other cities/counties follow suit.


  • 25 out of 50 states in the US define a marriage as being between a man and a woman under statute.


  • A number of citizens in Sweden called in sick with a case of being homosexual, in protest of homosexuality being classified as an illness. This was followed by an activist occupation of the main office of the National Board of Health and Welfare. Because of the intense pressure from the society, Sweden became the first country in the world to remove homosexuality as an illness within a few months.[30].


  • September 1: Virginia becomes the fourth state to ban same-sex marriage through a statute.
  • May 14: Two men as a couple from Colorado attempt to get a marriage license from a Government department because there was no ban on same-sex marriage at the time, then two years later in 1977, the Colorado State Legislature passed a law that defines a marriage as between a man and a woman was signed into law.
  • January 7: Two men from Phoenix, Arizona are granted a marriage license by their county clerk. The Arizona Supreme Court would later declare the license to be invalid, citing the Bible in its decision. Later that year, the Arizona State Legislature passes a law banning same-sex marriage.


  • January 1: Maryland becomes the first state in the US to ban same-sex marriage, under §2–201 of the Family Law Act 1973 statute - it quotes "only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this State" [6].


  • October 23: Two women by the names of Marjorie Jones and Tracy Knight are denied a marriage license in Kentucky by a county clerk who refused upon seeking advice from the district attorney.


  • May 18: United States, Minnesota: Jack Baker and James Michael McConnell apply for a marriage license in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The license is denied, and this denial was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. See the court opinion in Baker v. Nelson. In 1971, they obtain a marriage license from another Minnesota county, and are married before a Methodist minister in Minneapolis. Until 1973, not one state in the US banned same-sex marriage - because there was no definition of marriage in law or statute.

Before 1970

Various types of same-sex marriages have existed,[31] ranging from informal, unsanctioned relationships to highly ritualized unions.[32]

In the southern Chinese province of Fujian, through the Ming dynasty period, females would bind themselves in contracts to younger females in elaborate ceremonies.[33] Males also entered similar arrangements. This type of arrangement was also similar in ancient European history.[34]

The first recorded mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire.[35] These same sex marriages were solemnized with the same ceremonies and customs which were used for heterosexual marriages.[36] Cicero mentions the marriage (using the latin verb for "to marry", i.e. nubere) of the son of Curio the Elder in a casual manner as if it was commonplace. Cicero states that the younger Curio was "united in a stable and permanent marriage" to Antonius.[37] Martial also mentions a number of gay marriages.[38] By Juvenal's time, gay marriages seem to have become commonplace as he mentions attending gay marriages as if there were "nothing special.".[39] These gay marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.[40][41]

See also


  1. ^ Elisabeth Malkin (6 February 2010). "Gay Marriage Puts Mexico City at Center of Debate". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/world/americas/07mexico.html. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.sta.si/en/vest.php?s=a&id=1486503
  3. ^ Agence France-Presse (11 February 2010). "Portuguese parliament passes gay marriage bill". Vancouver Sun. http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Portuguese+parliament+passes+marriage+bill/2551697/story.html. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Associated Press (8 January 2010). "Portugal Parliament Votes to Permit Gay Marriage". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/08/world/AP-EU-Portugal-Gay-Marriage.html. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Tracy Wilkinson (29 December 2009). "Gay marriage closer to reality in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laplaza/2009/12/gay-marriage-closer-to-reality-in-mexico.html. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (28 December 2009). "Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America". http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/lt_argentina_gay_marriage. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (21 December 2009). "Mexico City 1st in region to approve gay marriage". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grJesfflOb0tjV_flyYRem81BVMwD9CNUCH00. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  8. ^ The Christian Press (21 December 2009). "D.C. Mayor Signs Gay Marriage Bill". http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091221/d-c-mayor-signs-gay-marriage-bill/. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  9. ^ The Washington Post (16 December 2009). "D.C. Council approves same-sex marriage bill". http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121500945.html?hpid=moreheadlines. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Ritter signs bill that will help gay couples - The Denver Post". www.denverpost.com. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_12109357. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  11. ^ New Hampshire governor to sign gay-marriage bill
  12. ^ Paterson Unveils Same-Sex Marriage Bill - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com
  13. ^ Iowa Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage ban | News Story on 365gay.com
  14. ^ Japan allows its citizens same-sex marriage abroad
  15. ^ Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples (29 January 2009). "Common Law Marriage: The Colombian Approach". http://www.buddybuddy.com/d-p-colo.html. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  16. ^ http://vietbao.vn/The-gioi-giai-tri/Le-ket-hon-dong-gioi-tai-Ha-Noi/50795684/407/
  17. ^ "First Iowa gay marriage shows 'love and justice'". Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20071016154614/http://chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-gaymarriage_websep01,1,4408589.story. , Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, August 31, 2007
  18. ^ Same-sex marriages now legal in SA, IOL.co.za
  19. ^ S. Africa parliament OKs gay marriages, Associated Press
  20. ^ Mixed decision for gay couples in New Jersey, San Francisco Chronicle
  21. ^ "Uganda: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Deepens Repression". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20070929181514/http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/07/12/uganda11307.htm. 
  22. ^ a b "Louisiana high court reinstates anti-gay marriage amendment". Archived from the original on 2007-11-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20071121073744/http://www.courttv.com/news/gaymarriage/011905_louisiana_ap.html. 
  23. ^ Louisiana marriage amendment passes with 78 percent
  24. ^ Same-sex marriage ban 'a milestone for values'. 14/08/2004. ABC News Online
  25. ^ 116 22.7.2003 Zakon o istospolnim zajednicama
  26. ^ Lawrence V. Texas
  27. ^ Approved Finnish legislation on same-sex partnerships
  28. ^ "Record of Marriage" (GIF). 2001-01-14. http://www.samesexmarriage.ca/images/marriage_ceremony/Record-of-Marriage.gif.  signed by Rev. Brent Hawkes
  29. ^ "The first legal gay marriage is now certified". http://www.samesexmarriage.ca/legal/ontario_case/cer300604.htm.  Certificate of marriage, issued June 11, 2003.
  30. ^ http://http://http://www.quistbergh.se/view/514
  31. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=1ha9GgWNmy0C&pg=PT267
  32. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=mlFp0nFhvbwC&dq=Ritualized+Homosexuality+Herdt&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=MBbOSvmjIIOa8Aao5PT6Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false
  33. ^ Defu, Shen (1578-1642) Bizhouzhai Yutan
  34. ^ Hinsch, Bret (1990). Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China. Reed Business Information, Inc. ISBN 0520078691. 
  35. ^ John Boswell, "Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe." (New York: Random House, 1995). Pages 80-85.
  36. ^ For example, the Roman Emperor Nero "married a man named Sporus in a very public ceremony... with all the solemnities of matrimony, and lived with him as his spouse" A friend gave the "bride" away "as required by law." q.v., Suetonius Nero 28; Dio Cassius Epitome 62.28 Old Translation of passage at: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/62*.html
  37. ^ Cicero Philippic 2.18.45 See old translation at: http://old.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0021&layout=&loc=2.18.45
  38. ^ Martial 12.42, 1.35, 3.93, 12.95. Old Translations of passages at: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/martial_epigrams_book12.htm http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/martial_epigrams_book01.htm http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/martial_epigrams_book03.htm
  39. ^ Juvenal Satire 2:132-135 http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Satire_2 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/juv-sat2eng.html
  40. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=xOmU5q1x8HsC&pg=PA272
  41. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=5LXpN4oaOwAC&pg=PA123

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