Where is same-sex marriage legal?
Here is the answer as of Nov. 16, 2013:
Same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), Portugal (2010), Denmark (2012), France (2013), Brazil (2013), Uruguay (2013), New Zealand (2013) and England and Wales (starting between this fall and summer 2014 -- when officialdom decides the bureaucracy is ready).
Same-sex marriages also have taken place on the Caribbean islands of Saba, a municipality of the Netherlands (2012), and Martinique, an overseas region of France (2013).
In Mexico, same-sex marriage is available in the Federal District (Mexico City) and -- for some couples who filed legal cases -- in the states of Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and Yucatán. The marriages are recognized nationwide by Supreme Court order. Mexico has 31 states.
In Colombia, a handful of same-sex couples have managed to get married since September 2013, but the situation remains fluid. Latest here.
In Australia, the Australian Capital Territory legalized "same-sex marriage" Oct. 22 and the law will take effect by the end of 2013. Couples from across the country would be able to marry there. However, rather than opening up regular marriage -- which is a matter of federal law -- to same-sex couples, the law creates a different, territory-level marriage just for same-sex couples. The federal government disapproves of that, and is challenging the law in the nation's High Court. The national group Australian Marriage Equality agrees that the separate scheme, as currently written, is legally problematic and has proposed further changes to the law to eliminate all points of constitutional conflict between ACT "same-sex marriage" and marriage as defined in federal law.
In the United States, same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts (2004), California (2008 for four months, then 2013 seemingly for good), Connecticut (2008), Vermont (2009), Iowa (2009), New Hampshire (2010), Washington, D.C. (2010), New York (2011), Maine (2012), Maryland (2012), Washington (2012), Delaware (2013), Rhode Island (2013), Minnesota (2013), New Jersey (2013), Hawaii (starting Dec. 2) and Illinois (starting June 1, 2014). The U.S. has 50 states.
It also is legal within the Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon (2009), The Suquamish Tribe in Washington state (2011), the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan (2013), The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington state (2013), the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan (2013), the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California (2013), the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma (2013) and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota (2013).
As of Nov. 16, 2013, marriage licenses also were being granted to same-sex couples in eight counties in New Mexico, which are home to 58.5% of New Mexico's population.
In Oregon, while same-sex couples cannot marry there, gay couples who get married anywhere else in the world -- including the bordering states of Washington and California -- are recognized by the state as fully married.
In U.S. states that do not allow or recognize same-sex marriage, married same-sex couples who live there are still recognized as married for purposes of federal taxes, immigration, employee benefit plans organized under federal law, military benefits, Obamacare, and likely scores of other federal matters that always have been tied to whether a couple entered into a legal marriage anywhere in the world rather than to a state's marriage rules.