The fight for queer relationship equality; where we stand in 2018

Marriage Equality on Jan 1, 2018DARK BLUE: Same-sex marriage legal; LIGHT BLUE: Civil unions; CYAN: Foreign marriages recognized; PALE BLUE: Very limited recognition of same-sex marriages; TAWNY: Government plan/court ruling for same-sex marriage, but additional work required.

When I started this annual tradition of writing a blog post about annual progress on the fight for same-sex marriage around the world way back in the stone age of 2013, it wasn’t easy to find comprehensive information about the subject on the web. Now, thanks to some dedicated work of Wikipedia editors, and the exhaustive work of former journalist Rex Wockner, there’s much more information out there. So in this year’s update, I’m going to try instead to synthesize the facts, the developments over the past year, and what we can expect to happen in 2018.

Since this post can get very long, I’ve decided to break it up into different pages:

Same-sex marriage in Europe
Same-sex marriage in the Americas
Same-sex marriage in Asia, Africa, and Oceania


2017 was a bit of a banner year for the movement. Several jurisdictions were added to the list of equal marriage countries: Finland, Germany, Malta, Australia. Judicial rulings for marriage equality came out in Taiwan and Austria. Three Mexican states, three UK Overseas Territories, and two UK dependencies also became equal marriage jurisdictions. We also had rulings and administrative decisions in favor of recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions in Armenia, Estonia, and Italy. By my count, this is the biggest single jump in the number of equal-marriage countries since 2013, when Brazil, France, New Zealand and Uruguay all legalized. Heading into 2018, more than 1.2 billion people live in equal marriage jurisdictions, and several more countries are either debating equal marriage laws in their legislatures or their Supreme Courts.

Populations of equal-marriage countries:

United States (including Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands) 327,847,797
Brazil 209,567,920
Mexico 128,632,004
Germany 80,716,000
United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland; including Isle of Man, Guernsey, Alderney, Bermuda, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Pitcairn Islands, Akrotiri & Dhekelia, and St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha) 62,969,237
France (including all territories) 66,842,000
South Africa 54,978,907
Colombia 48,654,392
Spain 46,064,604
Argentina 43,847,277
Canada 36,286,378
Australia 23,702,300
Netherlands (including Caribbean Netherlands) 17,000,059
Belgium 11,371,928
Portugal 10,304,434
Sweden 9,851,852
Austria 8,504,850
Denmark (including Greenland and Faroe Islands) 5,764,423
Finland 5,523,904
Norway 5,271,958
Ireland 4,713,993
New Zealand (excluding territories) 4,565,185
Uruguay 3,444,071
Luxembourg 576,243
Malta 446,547
Iceland 331,778
TOTAL 1,217,780,041


Populations of Countries with same-sex civil unions:

Italy 59,801,004
Taiwan 23,550,077
Chile 18,131,850
Ecuador 16,385,450
Greece 10,919,459
Czech Republic 10,548,058
Hungary 9,821,318
Switzerland 8,379,477
Croatia 4,225,001
Slovenia 2,069,362
Northern Ireland (UK) 1,864,000
Estonia 1,309,104
Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus) 1,176,598
Aruba 104,263
Jersey (UK) 100,080
Andorra 69,165
Liechtenstein 37,776

The total populations of the countries and territories with either same-sex marriage or civil unions is approximately 1,386,272,083.

Continue to:

Same-sex marriage in Europe
Same-sex marriage in the Americas
Same-sex marriage in Asia, Africa, and Oceania

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