A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, more than two dozen countries have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Below is a list of countries that have legalized the practice, with the most recent countries to do so shown first. The decision, which went into effect immediately, makes the Andean mountain nation the fifth country in Latin America to allow gays and lesbians to wed.
Debates over gay marriage involve both legal and social arguments, for and against. Legal arguments on behalf of gay marriage tend to get more attention because it should be a matter of basic civil and equal rights. Yet, it's not demonstrable that gay marriage is harmful. On the contrary, there are good reasons to think that legalized gay marriage can benefit us all. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that people who marry tend to be better off financially, emotionally, psychologically, and even medically.
On June 26, , the U. The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, including in the 14 states that did not previously allow gays and lesbians to wed.