This map shows you where same-sex marriage is legal around the world – and there’s a long way to go

Photo of a globe with hand pointing at various countries

After Greece voted to legalise same-sex marriage this week, you may be wondering which countries across the world also have marriage equality.

Luckily, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation have come up with a handy map to show the places that currently allow same-sex marriage.

According to the HRC Foundation, which “tracks developments in the legal recognition of same-sex marriage around the world”, same-sex marriage is legal in 36 countries (including Greece now) in the world out of a total 195 countries which isn’t the best ratio – only 18.4% of countries have marriage equality.

These are the countries where same-sex marriage is currently legal: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay.

a map of countries that have legalised gay marriaqe or same-sex marriage across the world
Only 18% of countries have legalised gay marriage. (HRC Foundation)

South Africa is the only country in Africa to have legalised same-sex marriage and Taiwan similarly is the only Asian country to have done so.

Of those, 25 countries legalised same-sex marriage nationally through legislation and 10 countries legalised same-sex marriage nationally following court decisions.

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Austria, Taiwan, and Ecuador all legalised gay marriage in 2019 with Costa Rica following suit in 2020, Switzerland and Chile in 2021, and Cuba, Andorra, and Slovenia in 2022.

Supporters of the LGBTQ community wrapped in LGBTQ+ pride flags gather outside the Greek Parliament.
Greece’s Parliament legalised same-sex marriage and adoption on Thursday, 15 February. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Estonia voted to legalise same-sex marriage in June 2023, with the legislation coming into force on January 1 of this year – it was the first post-Soviet Union country to do so.

Similarly, Greece is the first Christian Orthodox country to legalise same-sex marriage despite objections from church officials and pushback from within the governing party. The law had support from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who said that it would “serious inequality for our democracy”.

A prominent Greek LGBTQ+ activist said that the community have been waiting “years for this”. She said: “It’s a historic moment. A lot of us weren’t sure it would never come.”

The legislation in Greece will allow same-sex couples to exchange vows in civil ceremonies but also to adopt children.

Greece is now the 16th European Union country to legalise same-sex marriage. After the vote passed, Mitsotakis tweeted: “This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece – a progressive and democratic country, passionately committed to European values.”

The HRC Foundation are tracking a number of countries where they expect support for marriage equality to grow in 2024, including Czechia, India, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand.

A supreme court ruling on the topic is expected in March in Nepal, although a lesbian couple recently made history as the first to have their marriage registered and recognised by the Nepalese government despite it not being legal nationwide as of yet.