Nations that recognize same-sex marriage include:
The second nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003.
In June of 2005, the Canadian Parliament enacted a law allowing legal marriage for same-sex couples.
The Netherlands is the first country to grant gay marriage in 2001.
On June 29, 2005, Spain became the fourth nation to allow gay marriage.
The fifth nation to recognize gay marriage in 2005.
US states that recognize gay marriage:
In May of 2008, California's Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage in the state was discriminatory. However, Proposition 8, a voter initiative was passed, effectively striking down the court ruling. Although the legality of Prop 8 is being decided right now, at the moment, marriage in California is defined as between one man and one woman.
In a 4 to 3 decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, making it the third state to allow legal gay marriage.
On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The State of Massachusetts also issues licenses to gay couples from New Mexico and Rhode Island since neither state explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage.
New Jersey is the third U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions behind Vermont and Connecticut. The new same-sex civil unions law, which went into affect on February 19, 2007, grants gay and lesbian couples the same rights as marriage. *(Although same-sex unions in New Jersey are classified as civil unions, couples are granted the same rights as married heterosexual couples.)
Based on a May 29, 2008 directive, New York only recognizes gay marriages from couples legally married outside of the state.
Nations that allow same-sex partnerships or unions:
Only the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul allows same-sex civil unions. (June 2006).
Civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been allowed since 2003.
Legal civil partnerships have been allowed since 1989.
Has offered registered partnership benefits since September 2001.
Pacte Civil de Solidarité” (PACS), or “Civil Solidarity Pacts,” were instituted in France on November 9, 1999.
Gay couples can register as "Life Partnerships," granting lesser financial and pension benefits than marriage.
Gay couples have been protected under common-law marriages since 1995, buy they are not eligible for legal marriage.
Since 1996, gay & lesbian couples have been protected under registered partnerships.
Civil partnership legislation, which is similar to France's PACS, were introduced in Luxembourg in 2004.
Same sex civil unions were legalized in Mexico City in November 2006 and in the state of Coahuila on January of 2007, essentially making civil unions legal in all of Mexico (by law, each Mexican state must recognize the laws granted to individuals of the other states).
New Zealand enacted legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions in December of 2004.
Since 1996, gay & Lesbian couples have been protected under registered partnerships.
Same-sex partners have the same rights as opposite-sex partners in common law marriage.
Since 1995, Swedish same-sex couples have been able to register under domestic partnership laws.
Same-sex couples are given limited legal benefits with civil recognition.
Domestic partners can register under the Civil Partnership Act. This legislation took affect in December 5, 2005 giving registered same-sex couples the same rights, privileges and responsibilities of married heterosexual couples. The Civil Partnership Act applies across all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
US States that allow same-sex partnerships or unions:
Although Connecticut defines marriage as between a man and woman, in April 2005, it became the second U.S. state to grant same-sex civil unions.
New Hampshire was the 4th state behind Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut to offer civil unions. In January 2008, same-sex partners were allowed to register for civil unions.
Under Oregon's new domestic partnership law gay and lesbian couples are eligible for all the state-wide rights and benefits of marriage.
In 2000, Vermont became the first U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions.
On April 21, 2007, Washington's domestic partnership bill was signed into law giving gay and lesbian couples many of the benefits of marriage.