DOMA and Prop. 8 struck down: Gay marriage laws around the globe

There is no national gay marriage legislation in the pipeline in the US, however, numerous countries around the globe already recognize same-sex marriage or the right to civil unions. Here’s the breakdown by region.

3. Latin America

Buenos Aires was the first Latin American city to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples in 2002, and eight years later Argentina became the first country in the region to legalize gay marriage. And Uruguay passed legislation in April 2013 to allow same-sex couples to marry. Civil unions are legal on a national level in Brazil, while some Mexican cities permit it as well. 

In December 2009, Mexico City legalized same-sex marriages, and some Brazilian state courts have deemed that civil unions can be converted to same-sex marriages, a ruling that was upheld in an appeal in 2011.

Despite the legal status of gay marriage in some Latin American countries, however, support for gay marriage in the region is lower than it is in the United States: 26.8 percent compared to 47.4 percent, according to a 2010 survey on gay marriage by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University. The low approval ratings could be attributed to the large Catholic and evangelical populations in many parts of the Americas. (Read the Monitor’s coverage on the region’s response to Obama’s gay marriage statement here.)

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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