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International Measures Supporting Gay Marriage

International Measures Supporting Gay Marriage

On a global scale, the first move to create a state-recognized law supporting gay marriage took place in Denmark, on October 7, 1989. The country became the first in the world to grant same-sex couples the option of a legalized registered partnerships, and the decision ignited hope within the entire international gay community that legislation supporting gay marriage rights was indeed a very realistic possibility.

Although not titled a "marriage," Denmark's historic civil union law of sorts accorded identical legal and fiscal rights, benefits, and responsibilities to homosexual partnerships as it did to opposite-sex civil marriages. Both national and international gay partnerships undoubtedly recognized this landmark move as the first big step taken toward international gay equality.

Roughly 20 other countries- France, Colombia, Spain, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Finland, Slovenia and Ecuador, among many others, have had some form of government sanctioned same-sex partnership law, civil union, domestic partnerships or other enacted in legal support of same-sex couples.

Although the exact implications vary from country to country, most countries supply a wide range of state benefits and rights for its homosexual partnerships, such as state tax benefits and medical decision making. International countries fully supporting gay marriage by recognizing same-sex couples through the term of "marriage", through law are Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Canada.

For the rest of the world, however, supporting gay marriage and providing benefits for the international gay community, especially in more conservative and less developed nations, proves to be a challenge. In much of the Middle East and Africa, homosexuality is still heavily shunned upon and remains illegal.

In some parts of Asia, even a homosexual act can be considered illegal; some, in fact, bear penalties as harsh as life imprisonment, if caught. And so while the advancements made for the international gay community remain country specific, as homosexuality becomes more accepted, in time, there is indeed hope of worldwide gay marital rights.

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