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Are You Out Of the Loop About the Legality of Marriage?

Current Legality

Gay rights activists are currently fighting for legal recognition of gay marriage. While many places offer some type of recognition for same sex relationships, very few legally recognize gay marriages. In fact, there are still countries that have no form of gay rights, and homosexuality is actually punishable by the death penalty.

Obviously, countries that impose a legal punishment on people based on sexual orientation, will not offer any legal recognition of same sex relationships. However, countries like Canada and Mexico, now legally recognize gay marriages and offer those relationships the same rights and benefits generally conferred upon marriages. In some locations, gay rights activists are fighting for the most basic rights and in others, progress is very encouraging.

Gay rights activists have been able to push for some legislation regarding gay marriage. In fact, there are currently approximately 12 countries that allow for a legal recognition of gay marriage. In fact, Mexico recently legalized gay marriage. In addition, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and South Africa are just several places in which gay marriages receive all of the same rights and responsibilities generally conferred upon marriages.

However, places like Australia only offer legal recognition of domestic partnerships, in which couples are offered limited rights regarding their relationship. In contrast, Belgium and Spain, offer legalized gay marriage and those countries are also likely to offer equal gay rights. In addition, there are countries that will not offer gay marriage licenses, but will recognize a marriage that took place elsewhere. For example, Israel will recognize a gay marriage that was legally performed elsewhere.

Gay rights activists are fighting for equal access to all rights including the legal recognition of gay marriage.In fact, there are currently five states that recognize legal same sex marriages. Currently, same sex couples can legally marry in Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Couples in those places can legally marry and enjoy all of the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage. In fact, couples can enjoy all state level benefits. However, same sex marriages are not entitled to any federal benefits because federal law prohibits any form of legal recognition for same sex relationships.

Gay marriages are starting to be more widely accepted, and therefore becoming legally recognized in more places. In addition, same sex couples are now able to enjoy many rights that were otherwise unattainable. For example, married same sex couples can inherit property in the absence of a will.

In the past, rights like that were not conferred on same sex relationships because of the couples inability to marry. In fact, couples were prohibited from marrying which in turn, prohibited them from enjoying many other rights. However, the worldwide trend seems to be leaning toward equal rights for members of the LGBT community, including the right to marry.

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