Where Was Homosexuality First Legalized

In addition, several openly LGBTQ people have won public office: Kathy Kozachenko won a seat on the Ann Harbor, Michigan City Council in 1974, becoming the first American woman to be elected to public office. And people followed Denmark`s lead: in the 1990s, a number of other countries and regions introduced laws granting same-sex partnerships rights similar to marriage. However, it wasn`t until 2001 that one country completely legalized same-sex marriage. That country was the Netherlands. The 2003 law allowed same-sex marriage for Belgian couples and recognised those from other countries where same-sex marriage was legal as married. These provisions were extended in 2004 to allow any same-sex couple to marry provided that one of the members of the couple has resided in Belgium for at least three months. In 2006, Parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children. After the new law came into force at the end of June 2010, the country`s Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, married her long-time partner Jonina Leosdottir and became one of the first people to marry under the law. Poland belongs to a strong bloc of Eastern European countries that have opposed same-sex marriage, while 16 Western European countries have legalized it. The new measure passed by a majority of more than five votes to one, with the support of the ruling African National Congress and the main opposition Democratic Alliance party. However, the traditional Zulu monarch, who makes up about a fifth of the country`s population, says homosexuality is morally wrong.

A sharply divided Spanish parliament legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, guaranteeing equal rights to all married couples, regardless of their sexual orientation. The new measure added language to the existing marriage law that now reads: “Marriage shall have the same requirements and the same results if the two persons entering into the contract are of the same or opposite sex.” On July 17, 2013, Queen Elizabeth II gave “Royal Assent” to a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The day before, the measure had been definitively adopted by the British Parliament after months of debate. The Act applies only to England and Wales, as Scotland and Northern Ireland are semi-autonomous and have separate legislative bodies that decide on many domestic matters, including the definition of marriage. While Northern Ireland lawmakers rejected a measure that would have legalized same-sex marriage in April 2014, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in February 2014. One of the couples who married 20 years ago, Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker, told The Associated Press that they have been warmly welcomed by their neighbors and associates, though they are aware that anti-LGBTQ sentiment persists elsewhere. Gay rights advocates organized the second national march on Washington for lesbian and gay rights in 1987. The occasion was the first national coverage of ACT UP (AIDS COALITION To Unleash Power), an advocacy group that aims to improve the lives of AIDS victims.

Eleven years after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees it nationwide. The 5-4 decision is based in part on the court`s interpretation of the 14th Amendment and states that restricting marriage only to heterosexual couples violates the law`s guarantee of equal protection. Prior to the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had legalized same-sex marriage. Look at a timeline highlighting changes in government policy from 1995 to 2015. Elsewhere, same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, Canada and Costa Rica; five South American countries; the majority of Mexico`s 32 states; Australia and New Zealand. Again, other countries have followed the Dutch example. Belgium legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, and many others have since (the Danes legalized it completely in 2012). So far in 2015, four countries have legalized same-sex marriage, including the United States. In May 2020, Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The country`s highest court ruled in 2018 that the country`s law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, saying the ban would be lifted in 18 months unless the legislature first acted, which it has not done. While recent polls show that a majority of French adults support the law, opposition to the change has been intense. Since the beginning of 2013, several demonstrations against same-sex marriage have taken place in Paris and elsewhere, with sometimes unstable crowds of hundreds of thousands of people. 1. In January 2019, Austria joined the vast majority of Western European countries in legalising same-sex marriage. The country granted gay and lesbian couples the right to enter into civil partnerships in 2010. But in 2017, Austria`s highest court ruled that these partnerships were inherently discriminatory. The court also ruled that unless the country`s legislature passes a law to the contrary, gays and lesbians will be allowed to marry until Jan. 1, 2019. Austrian lawmakers did not oppose the ruling, which led to the first same-sex marriages in early 2019. In December 2000, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage, when the Dutch parliament, by a three-to-one majority, passed a landmark law authorizing the practice.

The legislation gives same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. The law amended a single sentence of the current Civil Marriage Act, which now reads: “A marriage may be contracted by two persons of different sex or of the same sex. South Africa`s parliament legalized same-sex marriage in November 2006, a year after the country`s highest court ruled that previous marriage laws violated the South African Constitution`s guarantee of equality. The new law allows religious institutions and officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, a provision that critics say violates the rights of same-sex couples under the constitution. These early years of the movement also saw notable setbacks: the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a form of mental disorder in 1952. On May 22, 2015, the predominantly Catholic Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum. More than six in ten Irish voters (62%) voted “yes” to amending the Irish constitution to say that “marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to sex”. In 1924, Henry Gerber, a German immigrant, founded the Society for Human Rights in Chicago, the first documented gay rights organization in the United States.

While serving in the U.S. Army during World War I, Gerber was inspired by the Scientific and Humanitarian Committee, a group for “homosexual emancipation” in Germany, to found his organization. The Danes were the first to grant same-sex partnerships almost exactly the same rights as marriages with their 1989 Registered Partnership Act. However, the law stopped calling same-sex partnerships “marriages” and couples could not be married or adopt a child in the Danish State Church. Nevertheless, the law was seen as an important stepping stone at the time. From 1998, the Belgian Parliament granted same-sex couples limited rights through registered partnerships. Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume joint responsibility for a household. Five years later, in January 2003, the Belgian parliament legalized same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian couples the same tax and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples.