Sunday, August 27, 2006
Bit by Bit
Same-sex marriage is the union of two people who are of the same gender. Other terms include "gender-neutral marriage", "equal marriage", "gay marriage", "lesbian marriage," "homosexual marriage", and "same-gender marriage".
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, opposing efforts to legalize or ban same-sex civil marriage made it a topic of debate all over the world. At present, same-sex marriages are recognized in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and the U.S. commonweath of Massachusetts.
On December 1, 2005, South Africa’s Constitutional Court extended marriage to include same-sex couples. The court mandated that changes go into effect by the end of 2006.
Civil unions, domestic partnerships, and other legal recognitions of same-sex couples which offer varying amounts of the benefits of marriage are available in: Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory and the U.S. states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, and the U.S. territory of Washington, D.C.. The first same-sex union with government recognition was obtained in Denmark in 1989.
Information quoted from Answers.com
Here is a map of marriage rights as of the date noted above: