Some names on this list may well surprise you!
We here at Weddy love a good wedding; heterosexual, homosexual it’s all good as far as we’re concerned! Marriage is an expression of and commitment to love and we think that it should be open to everyone. Unfortunately not everyone agrees with us.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage has been a slow burner. A big round of applause goes to the Netherlands for being the first to make it legal on April 1st 2001. Here in the UK we were a bit slow off the mark with England and Wales only making it legal on March 13th 2014, Scotland eventually followed suit in December.
Some countries are even slower to initiate change, and others out and out refuse it. Here are a list of 10 such offenders; most of them will surprise you:
1. Finland- Credit where it’s due to Finland; originally they had hoped to allow same-sex marriage by 2012 but due to the bill being rejected by the Legal Affairs Committee, it wasn’t to be. subsequently a citizen’s initiative was launched which gained over 166, 000 signatures and eventually the bill was passed in December 2014 and signed by the president on February 20th 2015. The law won’t be in effect; however, until March 2017.
2. Ireland- Civil Partnerships have been recognised in Ireland since January 2011, but they are still dragging their feet when it comes to legalising same-sex marriage. On April 14th 2013 the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of same-sex marriage by a margin of 79 percent. A referendum has been confirmed for May 2015 with a view to finally legalise same-sex marriage.
3. Germany- Another country that has registered partnerships, but not legal same-sex marriage. Attempts to give equal rights to registered partners or to legalize same-sex marriage have generally been blocked by the CDU; the main party in government since 2005; however all other main parties are in support of the legalisation of homosexual marriage. Surely it’s only a matter of time.
4. Italy- Italy seems to be a nation divided on the subject of same-sex marriage. Despite a long history of legislative proposals for civil unions, Italy does not recognize any type of same-sex unions. While citizens of other countries are actively seeking legalisation of same-sex marriage, the jury seems to be out in Italy with polls indicating that that 55% of respondents were in favour of same sex marriage, with 42% against.
5. Japan- They may be lightyears ahead of us when it comes to technology, but their legislation has seen better days. Though same-sex marriage is not legal, the language used in the constitution is ambiguous and does not explicitly forbid same-sex unions. Beginning April 1st 2015 Shibuya ward office in central Tokyo is offering same-sex couples special, stricter marriage licenses. Though a massive coup for marriage equality supporters, these licenses will not be recognised by the federal government.
6. Turkey - With only an estimated 3.6% of Turks actually supporting same-sex marriage, Turkey is going to be a hard nut to crack. Despite this, in response to a request from BDP, a parliamentary discussion of same-sex marriage is anticipated when all political parties gather in committees to establish a new constitution. There might be hope for them yet.
7. Austria- In November 2013 a bill was introduced by the opposing party; the Greens, to legalise same-sex marriage. This bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee on 17 December 2013 but has since been delayed by the ruling coalition. Looks like they are playing the waiting game in Austria.
8. China- Let’s be honest here; China isn’t known for it’s liberal social views. Not only that but the law in China defines marriage explicitly as the union between one man and one woman. In accordance with Chinese law at least 35 delegates signatures are required before a bill can even be discussed in parliament. Not much wiggle room there then. On the plus side; the Ministry of Health officially removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001. Hooray!
9. India- No one really knows what is going on with India. Same-sex marriage isn’t explicitly prohibited under Indian law and at least one couple has had their marriage recognised by the courts. One can only assume that same-sex marriages aren’t generally accepted as no one has even bothered to clear up the issue.
10. Barbados- Same-sex marriage is out of the question in Barbados. Not only is it not considered but the laws against any same-sex sexual activity are pretty final too. Although they are reportedly not enforced, you could face life imprisonment! Perhaps a bit extreme don’t you think?
As we’re fortunate enough to live in the UK, there’s been an influx in the amount of same-sex marriages. But what exactly do you wear to a lesbian wedding? Here are some of our ideas.