This page contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage and legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide. It begins with the history of same-sex unions during ancient times, which consisted of unions ranging from informal and temporary relationships to highly ritualized unions, and continues to modern-day state-recognized same-sex marriage. Events concerning same-sex marriages becoming legal in a country or in a country's state are listed in bold.
Various types of same-sex marriages have existed, ranging from informal, unsanctioned relationships to highly ritualized unions.
Cicero mentions the marriage (using the Latin verb for "to marry", i.e. nubere) of the son of Curio the Elder, but he does it in a metaphorical form to criticize his enemy Antonius. Cicero states thus that the younger Curio was "united in a stable and permanent marriage" to Antonius. Martial also mentions a number of same-sex marriages, but always in derisory terms against people whom he wants to mock.
At least two of the Roman Emperors were in same-sex unions; and in fact, thirteen out of the first fourteen Roman Emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual. The first Roman emperor to have married a man was Nero, who is reported to have married two other men on different occasions. First with one of his freedmen, Pythagoras, to whom Nero took the role of the bride, and later as a groom Nero married a young boy, who resembled one of his concubines, named Sporus.
Adolescent emperor Elagabalus referred to his chariot driver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles, as his husband. He also married an athlete named Zoticus in a lavish public ceremony in Rome amidst the rejoicings of the citizens.
These same-sex marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.
In the Middle Ages, a same-sex marriage between the two men Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz in the Galician municipality of Rairiz de Veiga in Spain occurred on 16 April 1061. They were married by a priest at a small chapel. The historic documents about the church wedding were found at Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova.
The Siwa Oasis in Egypt had an historical acceptance of male homosexuality and even rituals of same-sex marriage — traditions that Egyptian authorities have sought to repress, with increasing success, since the early 20th century. The German egyptologist George Steindorff explored the oasis in 1900 and reported that homosexual relations were common and often extended to a form of marriage.
On 18 May 1970, Richard John Baker, a University of Minnesota law student, and James Michael McConnell applied to Hennepin County District Court clerk Gerald Nelson for a marriage license. He denied the application, because the applicants were both men. Baker and McConnell sued Nelson, claiming Minnesota law on marriage made no mention of gender. The trial court was not persuaded, agreeing with Nelson. On appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the lower court in Baker v. Nelson.
15 October: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Minnesota upholds the decision of a lower court that denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple does not violate the U.S. Constitution." The lawsuit originated in a marriage application filed by activist Jack Baker and Michael McConnell in 1970. An appeal of that decision ended when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review it "for want of a substantial federal question". (see Baker v. Nelson).
1 January: Maryland becomes the first state in the U.S. to statutorily ban same-sex marriage. In the following two decades, other states joined Maryland in statutorily banning same-sex marriage, reaching almost the totality of US states by 1994.
26 March: Boulder County clerk Clela Rorex issues first U.S. same-sex marriage license. During the following month, she issued five more same-sex marriage licenses. Boulder District Attorney deferred the licenses, which became void. The matter never reached the courts.
June: The Netherlands adopts an "Unregistered Cohabitation" scheme as a civil status in rent law, becoming the first country in the world where same-sex couples could apply for limited rights.
December: Berkeley becomes the first city to pass a domestic partner policy for city and school district employees after a year of work by the Domestic Partner Task Force chaired by Leland Traiman. Working with the Task Force is Tom Brougham, a Berkeley city employee who coined the term "domestic partner" and created the concept. All other domestic partner policies in California and elsewhere are patterned after Berkeley's.
21 February: West Hollywood becomes the first US city to enact a domestic partnership registry open to all citizens.
30 May: San FranciscoBoard of Supervisors passes a domestic partnership registry ordinance, which is closely defeated by San Francisco voters as Proposition S on 7 November.
1 October: Denmark becomes the first country in the world to legally recognise same-sex unions, after passing a bill legalising "registered partnerships" in a 71–47 vote.
A modified domestic partnership registry ordinance is passed by the San FranciscoBoard of Supervisors, and the ordinance is ratified by voters as Proposition K on 6 November.
June: Berkeley becomes the third city in California to create a domestic partnership registry for same- and opposite-sex couples.
30 April: Norway approves a registered partnerships bill, becoming the second country in the world (after Denmark) to provide legal recognition for same-sex couples. It came into effect on 1 August.
5 May: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Hawaii rules in Baehr v. Lewin that the Hawaii state statute limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is presumed to be unconstitutional unless the state can present a "compelling state interest" justifying the same-sex marriage ban.
23 June: The Parliament of Sweden approves a registered partnerships bill in a 171–141 vote. It became legal on 1 January 1995.
22 September: Governor Gray Davis from the U.S. state of California signs a domestic partnerships bill into law that provided limited rights for same-sex couples.
15 November: The Parliament of France approves legislation (art. 515-1 et s. Code civil) that:
creates a relationship register for both gay and straight couples (called "Pacte civil de solidarité" abbreviated as "PaCS"); and
redefines the non-registered partnership as the stable union between two adults regardless of their gender (before this law, previous decisions of the French highest Court ruled that there could be no couple without appearance of marriage, therefore excluding gay people from any vision of family).
26 April: Governor Howard Dean from the U.S. state of Vermont signs a civil unions bill into law after the state's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights as opposite sex couples, thus making Vermont the first state in the U.S. to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples. It became law on 1 July.
23 June: Spanish region of Navarra legalizes same-sex civil unions. It also legalized joint adoption for same-sex couples, a first for the country.
November: Germany approves a bill to legalize "Life partnerships". It became law on 1 August 2001.
21 December: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs into law the first same-sex marriage bill in the world. It had previously cleared the country's Senate on 19 December in a 49–26 vote and the House of Representatives on 12 September in a 109–33 vote. The law came into effect on 1 April 2001.
Two men marrying in Amsterdam, in the first month after the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage (2001).
14 January: Two same-sex marriages are performed at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Although registration of the marriages was initially denied, a successful court challenge upheld their legality on 10 June 2003, thus retroactively making them the first legal same-sex marriages in modern times.
1 April: Laws that permit marriage for same-sex couples and grant same-sex couples adoption rights in the Netherlands come into effect. Four same-sex couples are married at the stroke of midnight by the Mayor of Amsterdam.
28 September: The Parliament of Finland approves a Registered Partnerships bill in a 99–84 vote. The law came into effect on 1 March 2002.
June: the National Assembly of Quebec passed the Act Instituting Civil Unions and Establishing New Rules of Filiation. This created civil unions, which allow both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to make a public commitment to live together and comply with the resulting rights and obligations.
13 February: King Albert II of Belgium signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law, making Belgium the second country in the world to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples, after the Netherlands. The bill previously passed the Chamber of Representatives in a 91–22 vote on 30 January 2003 and the Senate in a 46–15 vote on 13 December 2002. It came into effect on 1 June.
17 September: A registered partnership bill receives Royal Assent in Tasmania, Australia. It was previously approved by the state Legislative Council on 27 August and by the state House of Assembly on 25 June. It came into effect on 1 January 2004.
April: The U.S. state of Maine adopts a registered partnerships bill. The law came into effect on 30 July.
12 May: The Parliament of Luxembourg approves a civil partnerships bill. It came into effect on 1 November.
17 May: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the U.S. state of Massachusetts after the Legislature failed to take any action in the 180 days period given by the state's Supreme Court. It became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.
5 November: A judge in Saskatchewan, Canada, rules that same-sex couples must enjoy the right to equal marriage in that province.
17 November: The United Kingdom's parliament legalizes civil partnerships for same-sex couples. The bill received Royal Assent the next day and it took effect on 5 December 2005.
8 December: The government of Israel indicates that it will recognize same-sex partnerships for certain benefits.
8 December: The Parliament of New Zealand approves a civil unions law by a vote of 65 to 55. The bill came into effect on 26 April 2005.
23 March: The Principality of Andorra legalizes same-sex unions.
20 April: Governor Jodi Rell from the U.S. State of Connecticut signs a same-sex civil unions bill into law after passing the State Senate 26 to 8 earlier that day. The bill was previously approved on 13 April by the State House of Representatives in an 85–63 vote. It came into effect on 1 October.
5 June: A registered partnership law is approved in Switzerland by 58 percent of voters after opponents organized a ballot measure. It came into effect on 1 January 2007.
22 June: A registered partnerships bill is approved in Slovenia giving same-sex couples limited rights. It came into effect on 23 July 2006.
23 June: A judge in New Brunswick, Canada, rules that same-sex couples have the right to equal marriage in that province.
30 June: The Congress of Deputies of Spain passes a same-sex marriage bill for a second time, overruling the rejection of the Spanish Senate a week before. This makes Spain the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The law took effect on 3 July, after it was publicized in the official government registry. King Juan Carlos I granted the law Royal Assent the day after passage.
19 July: The Parliament of Canada legalizes same-sex marriage, making Canada the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage and the fourth in the world to do so. It became law on 20 July after receiving Royal Assent. Eight of ten provinces and one of three territories in Canada already allowed same-sex marriage before being recognized federally.
18 May: King Albert II of Belgium signs a bill allowing adoption by same-sex couples into law after it was approved by the country's Senate on 20 April in a 34–33 vote.
25 October: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of New Jersey unanimously rules in favor of same-sex marriage; 4–3 give the legislature six months to legalize same-sex marriage or civil unions. The three dissenting justices dissented because they believed same-sex couples should have the full right to marry.
9 November: The Legislative Assembly of Mexico City passes a civil union law, making it the first jurisdiction in Latin America to legally recognize same-sex unions.
21 November: Israel's supreme court rules that same-sex marriages performed abroad will be formally registered by the Israeli Interior Ministry. This ruling makes equal the status of same-sex couples and other Israeli couples who cannot be married by the formal religious institutions in Israel (e.g. couples from different religions).
7 December: The Parliament of Canada rejects Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to re-open the equal marriage debate. The motion was defeated 175–123, and every political party had more MPs supporting same-sex marriage than in the previous vote. The prime minister declared the issue "settled".
21 December: Governor Jon Corzine from the U.S. state of New Jersey signs a bill legalizing civil unions into law. It took effect on 19 February 2007.
12 January: The Mexican state of Coahuila legalizes civil unions, being the first state to do so in Mexico and the second entity (after Mexico D.F.).
21 April: Governor Chris Gregoire from the U.S. state of Washington signs a domestic partnerships bill into law. It came into effect on 22 July.
9 May: Governor Ted Kulongoski from the U.S. state of Oregon signs a domestic partnerships bill into law. It came into effect on 1 February 2008.
31 May: Governor John Lynch from the U.S. state of New Hampshire signs a civil unions bill into law. It came into effect on 1 January 2008.
30 August: A court of the U.S. state of Iowa strikes down its ban on same-sex marriage as a result of a legal challenge. About 20 couples obtained marriage licenses and one couple married before the judge issued a stay of his ruling pending appeal.
27 December: President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay signs a civil unions bill into law, becoming the first country in Latin America to approve a law giving legal recognition to same-sex couples. The bill was previously approved by the country's legislature on 19 December. It came into effect on 1 January 2008.
15 April: A bill legalizing registered relationships receives Royal Assent in Victoria, Australia. It was previously approved by the State Legislative Council on 10 April and by the State Legislative Assembly on 12 March. The law came into effect on 1 December.
8 May: The Legislative Assembly of the ACT, Australia, passes a bill legalizing civil partnerships for same-sex couples. It came into effect on 19 May.
22 May: Governor Martin O'Malley of the U.S. state of Maryland signs into law two bills legalizing domestic partnerships. They came into effect on 1 July.
29 May: Governor David Paterson from the U.S. state of New York signs an executive order mandating state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state equally under the law. New York thus became the first U.S. state that did not allow same-sex marriages, but whose state agencies recognized same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
17 June: Norway's upper house legalizes same-sex marriage in a 23–17 vote. The bill was previously approved by the lower house on 11 June in an 84–41 vote. It came into effect on 1 January 2009.
10 October: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Connecticut legalizes same-sex marriage in the landmark Kerrigan and Mock v. Connecticut Department of Public Health ruling. Same-sex weddings started on 12 November.
4 November: A referendum seeking to constitutionally ban same-sex marriages in the U.S. state of California is approved by 52.2% of voters; thus overturning same-sex marriage in California, this event being noteworthy because it was the first time in modern history that same-sex marriage has been overturned.
28 January: The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in common-law marriages. The ruling means that civil and political rights such as nationality, residency, housing protection, and state benefits are now granted to same-sex partners.
1 April: The Parliament of Sweden legalizes same-sex marriage in a 226–22 vote. The law came into effect on 1 May.
3 April: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Iowa unanimously votes to legalize same-sex marriage in the landmark Varnum v. Brien ruling. Same-sex weddings started on 27 April.
7 April: The U.S. state of Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage after a 23–5 vote in the State Senate and a 100–49 vote in the House of Representatives, overriding Governor Jim Douglas, who had vetoed the law a day earlier. The bill came into effect on 1 September.
20 April: The Parliament of Hungary legalizes registered partnerships in a 199–159 vote. The law came into effect on 1 July.
6 May: Governor John Baldacci from the U.S. state of Maine signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved 89-58 by the House of Representatives a day earlier and 21-14 by the State Senate on 30 April. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on 3 November.
18 May: Governor Chris Gregoire from the U.S. state of Washington signs the so-called "everything-but-marriage" registered partnerships bill into law. It was passed by the State Senate on 10 March and by the House of Representatives on 15 April. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on 3 November.
31 May: The Assembly of the U.S. state of Nevada legalizes domestic partnerships by a 28–14 vote, overriding a veto from Governor Jim Gibbons after the Senate did the same on 30 May by a 14–7 vote. The law came into effect on 1 October.
3 June: Governor John Lynch from the U.S. State of New Hampshire signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law after being approved 14–10 by the State Senate and 198–176 by the House of Representatives. The law took effect on 1 January 2010.
29 June: Governor Jim Doyle from the U.S. state of Wisconsin signs into law a bill legalizing registered partnerships. The bill was previously approved by the State Assembly in a 50–48 vote on 13 June and by the State Senate in a 17–16 vote on 17 June. The law came into effect on 3 August.
1 July: The U.S. state of Colorado begins recognizing designated beneficiary agreements.
6 July: The District of Columbia starts recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other U.S. states, although same-sex marriages cannot be performed in D.C. itself.
3 November: A referendum in the U.S. state of Maine repeals an approved same-sex marriage bill before it took effect, while a referendum in the US state of Washington upholds the so-called "everything-but-marriage" registered partnerships bill, which came into effect on 3 December.
18 December: The Federal Council (upper house) of Austria's passes a bill legalizing registered partnerships in a 44–8 vote. The bill was previously passed by the National Council (lower house) on 10 December in a 110–64 vote. It came into effect on 1 January 2010.
28 December: The first same-sex marriage in Argentina and Latin America is conducted in Ushuaia, province of Tierra del Fuego. The couple first planned to marry in Buenos Aires on 1 December after a city court ruled that it should be issued a marriage license; however, a national judge blocked the marriage from taking place in Buenos Aires. The couple successfully married in Ushuaia thanks to Governor Fabiana Ríos's intervention.
29 December: Mexico City's Head of Government Marcelo Ebrard signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved on 21 December by the Legislative Assembly in a 39–20 vote. It took effect on 3 March 2010.Civil unions in Mexico City had been available since 2007, but full marriage was not yet recognized.
17 May: President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making Portugal the sixth country in Europe, and eighth country overall, to legalize same-sex marriages. The country's Assembly previously approved the bill in its second reading on 11 February. It took effect on 5 June.
19 May: A registered partnerships bill receives Royal Assent in New South Wales, Australia. The bill was previously approved by the state upper House on 12 May in a 32–5 vote and by the state lower House on 11 May in a 62–9 vote. The law came into effect on 1 July.
11 June: The Parliament of Iceland unanimously approves a law legalizing same-sex marriage by a vote of 49–0. The law took effect on 27 June.
19 July: President Mary McAleese of Ireland signs into law a bill legalizing Civil Partnerships. It was previously passed by the Seanad in a 48–4 vote on 8 July. The law came into effect on 1 January 2011.
21 July: President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making Argentina the first country in both South America and Latin America, and the second country in the Americas, to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The bill was previously approved by the country's Senate 33-27 on 15 July and 125–109 by the Chamber of Deputies on 5 May. The first marriage took place on 30 July.
5 August: The Supreme Court of Mexico votes 8–2 to uphold the constitutionality of Mexico City's same-sex marriage law. On the following days, it also votes to mandate that all 31 states of Mexico must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions (on 10 August, on a 9–2 vote) and to uphold a Mexico City law permitting same-sex couples entering into marriages to adopt children (on 16 August, on a 9–2 vote).
10 August: The Supreme Court of Costa Rica issues a 5–2 ruling to halt a referendum on same-sex civil unions which was scheduled for 5 December after stating that minority rights should not be decided by the majority.
10 January: The Court of Appeal of the province of Saskatchewan in Canada rules that marriage commissioners cannot refuse to wed same-sex couples on religious grounds.
31 January: Governor Pat Quinn from the US state of Illinois signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 32–24 by the state Senate on 1 December and 61–52 by the state House of Representatives on 30 November. It came into effect on 1 June.
23 February: Governor Neil Abercrombie from the US state of Hawaii signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 18–5 by the state Senate on 16 February and 31–19 by the state House of Representatives on 11 February. It came into effect on 1 January 2012.
11 May: Governor Jack Markell from the US state of Delaware signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 26–15 by the state House of Representatives on 14 April and 13–6 by the state Senate on 7 April. It came into effect on 1 January 2012.
19 June: Voters of Liechtenstein approve a registered partnerships bill by 68.8% after opponents organized a ballot measure. The law took effect on 1 September.
24 June: Governor Andrew Cuomo from the US state of New York signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved two hours early 33–29 by the state Senate and 80–63 by the state Assembly on 5 June. It came into effect on 24 July.
1 July: A civil unions bill in the US state of Rhode Island becomes effective, Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the bill on 2 July 2011 but the law was made retroactive from 1 July 2011. The bill was previously approved 21–16 by the state Senate on 29 June and by the Assembly in a 62–11 vote on 20 May.
12 July: A civil partnerships bill is unanimously approved in Jersey. It took effect on 2 April 2012.
26 July: The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that same-sex couples have the right to form a family and orders the Congress to pass legislation addressing the issue of same-sex marriage before 20 June 2013. If such a law is not passed until then, same-sex couples will be able to apply for marriage-like rights automatically.
13 February: Governor Christine Gregoire from the US state of Washington signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was priorly approved 55–43 by the state House on 8 February and 28–21 by the state Senate on 1 February. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on 6 November.
1 March: Governor Martin O'Malley from the US state of Maryland signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved by the Senate, 25–22, on 23 February and by the House, 72–67, on 17 February. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on 6 November.
14 May: Governor Lincoln Chafee from the US state of Rhode Island signs an executive order to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state equally under the law.
7 June: The Parliament of Denmark legalizes same-sex marriage in an 85–24 vote, becoming the eighth country in Europe, and eleventh overall, to do so. The law took effect on 15 June. Denmark was previously the first country to legally recognize same-sex couples through registered partnerships in 1989.
10 June: A judicial court in Uruguay declares a foreign same-sex marriage valid, making it the first legal same-sex marriage in the country. The ruling also affirmed that local laws already permit same-sex marriage, even if they do not state it literally, and that Uruguayans married overseas can go to a judge to have their marriages recognized.
5 July: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Sergipe issues "Provimento nº 06/2012", extending marriage to same-sex couples.
15 August: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo extends marriage to same-sex couples.
10 October: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Bahia extends marriage to same-sex couples. The ruling came into effect on 26 November.
10 October: Same-sex marriage is legalized in the Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba after the Dutch Parliament passed a law extending its same-sex marriage law to the special municipalities. The first same-sex marriage was performed on Saba on 4 December 2012 between a Dutch and a Venezuelan man, both residing in Aruba.
6 November: The Spanish Constitutional Court upholds the country's same-sex marriage law after the ruling People's Party filed a lawsuit arguing that it was unconstitutional. After the ruling, the Spanish Minister of Justice said that the government will accept the verdict and drop plans to change the law.
6 November: Voters in the US states of Maine, Maryland, and Washington approve same-sex marriage laws in referenda, becoming the first jurisdictions in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through this process, while voters in the US state of Minnesota become the first to reject a constitutional amendment seeking to ban same-sex marriage in their state. The laws of Washington, Maine and Maryland, came into effect on 6 December 2012, 29 December 2012 and 1 January 2013 respectively.
26 November: Same-sex marriages begin in the Brazilian state of Bahia.
1 December: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian Federal District extends marriage to same-sex couples.
5 December: Supreme Court of Mexico unanimously finds the same-sex marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex marriages nationally. Same-sex marriage is already legal in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and in Mexico City.
15 December: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Piauí extends marriage to same-sex couples.
18 December: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of São Paulo extends marriage to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages were already offered in six other Brazilian states and in the country's Federal District. The ruling came into effect on 1 March 2013.
7 March: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Ceará rules, from 15 March on, that notaries statewide are required to perform same-sex marriages.
21 March: Governor John Hickenlooper from the U.S. state of Colorado signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved by the House of Representatives on 12 March in a 39–26 vote and by the Senate in a 21–14 vote on 11 February. It came into effect on 1 May.
22 March: The Bundesrat of Germany passes a state-level initiative which will open marriage to same-sex couples. The bill will advance in the Bundestag where an identical bill was rejected in 2012. The legislation was proposed by 5 states of Germany.
2 April: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul extends marriage to same-sex couples.
3 April: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian State of Paraná extends marriage to same-sex couples.
10 April: The Chamber of Deputies of Uruguay legalizes same-sex marriage with 71 affirmative votes (out of 92) in its second reading, making Uruguay the second country in Latin America, after Argentina, and twelfth overall, to legalize same-sex marriage. The law was previously passed by the Senate on 2 April by a 23–8 vote. The bill was signed into law on 3 May 2013. It came into force on 5 August 2013.
14 April: The Constitutional Convention of Ireland, which was charged with making recommendations to the Irish Government in respect of changes to the country's Constitution, votes overwhelmingly (79%) in favour of amending the Constitution to allow for same-sex marriage. The Irish Government will respond to the decision within 4 months. An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, states in July that a referendum to introduce same-sex marriage in Ireland may take place in 2014.
17 April: The Parliament of New Zealand legalizes same-sex marriage by a 77–44 vote in the bill's third reading, making New Zealand the first country in Oceania, and thirteenth overall, to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill received Royal Assent two days later. It came into effect on 19 August 2013.
17 April: The General Magistrate of Justice of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, Valmir de Oliveira Silva, authorizes local judges to perform same-sex marriages if they agree to do so. The ruling states that couples must register their request in the civil registry and then wait 15 days for the district to decide whether to perform it or not.
26 April: The Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Rondônia publishes a Provision (008/2013-CG) which extends marriage to same-sex couples and the conversion of stable unions into marriages throughout the State.
2 May: Governor Lincoln Chafee from the U.S. state of Rhode Island signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed shortly before with a final 56–15 vote in the House of Representatives  and on 24 April by the state Senate in a 26–12 vote. It came into effect on 1 August 2013.
7 May: Governor Jack Markell from the U.S. state of Delaware signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed shortly before by the state Senate by a 12–9 vote and on 23 April by the House of Representatives by a 23–18 vote. It took effect on 1 July 2013.
14 May: The Justice's National Council of Brazil legalizes same-sex marriage in the entire country by a 14–1 vote, making Brazil the third country in South America, after Argentina and Uruguay, and fifteenth in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The same-sex marriage was already legal in 12 states and the Federal District. The Council's ruling orders all civil register of the country to grant same-sex marriages. The ruling was published on 15 May and took effect on 16 May 2013.
14 May: Governor Mark Dayton from the U.S. state of Minnesota signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed a day before by the state Senate by a 37–30 vote and on 9 May by the House of Representatives by a 75–59 vote. It came into effect on 1 August 2013.
Minnesota Statehouse 2013
The National Assembly of France gives final approval to the same-sex marriage bill by a 331–225 vote.
18 May: President François Hollande of France signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making France the fourteenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was introduced to the National Assembly by the government on 14 November 2012, who approved it by a 329–229 vote on 12 February 2013. The Bill was then sent to the Senate who approved it with amendments by a 179–157 vote on 12 April. As parts of it were changed, the Bill was thus sent back to the lower house on 17 April for a final scrutiny and passed on 23 April by a 331–225 vote. The law was validated by the Constitutional Council of France on 17 May. François Hollande, President of France, signed it into law on 18 May. It took effect on 19 May 2013, making France the thirteenth country to effectively implement same-sex marriage.
20 June: Deadline given by the Colombian Constitutional Court for Parliament to legislate on same-sex unions ends. Notaries across the country begin performing "marital contracts" for same-sex couples, however, LGBT activists advice people not to engage in those contracts as they did not exist in the country's laws. In the following days, several couples make petitions to civil judges to have their relationships recognized through marriage.
24 June: The Santa Ysabel Tribe announce their recognition of same-sex marriage, becoming the first tribe in California to do so.
5 November: The Government of Ireland announces a same-sex marriage referendum to take place before the summer of 2015.
13 November: Governor Neil Abercrombie from the U.S. state of Hawaii signs a bill granting marriage to same-sex couples, making Hawaii the fifteenth such US state. The legislation was approved by the state Senate by a 19–4 vote on 12 November and previously by the House by a 30–19 vote on 8 November. This legislation started to be debated on 28 October 2013.
20 November: Governor Pat Quinn from the US state of Illinois signs a bill granting marriage to same-sex couples. The legislation was previously approved by the House by a 61–54 vote on 5 November and by the Senate by a 34–21 vote on 14 February.
20 November: The Scottish Parliament passes the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill through the first Stage by a 98–15 vote. The bill was previously approved by the Equal Opportunities Committee.
1 December: Croatia passes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and defining marriage as strictly a union between a man and woman. The amendment was passed via a referendum with 65% of voters voting for it.
12 December: The High Court of Australia decides unanimously that a legislative act granting marriage to same-sex couples in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) "cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961." The court said that such marriages have no effect under the act and that it is matter of the federal Parliament to amend the federal marriage law. The ACT passed legislation granting marriage to same-sex couples in a 9–8 party-line vote on 22 October. The first marriages were solemnized on 7 December but have been annulled as unconstitutional.
19 December: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of New Mexico ordered state officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the case Griego v. Oliver.
4 February: The Scottish Parliament approved the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill through the third Stage by a 105–18 vote. On 20 November 2013, the Parliament passed the bill through the first stage by a 98–15 vote and then ended the second stage on 16 January. The bill received royal assent on 12 March.
21 February: The U.S. District Court for Illinois found the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the case Lee and others v. Orr and ordered that Cook County's officials must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Other counties followed several days later. Illinois had already signed into law a legislation granting marriage to same-sex couples on 20 November 2013 which took effect on 1 June 2014
9 April: The Italian Civil Court of Grosseto ordered the recognition of a same-sex marriage contracted abroad.
14 April: The Parliament of Malta approved the Civil Unions bill 2014 through the third reading in a 37–0.
23 April: The Supreme Court of Mexico unanimously found the same-sex marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca unconstitutional. As a final decision the Court set a precedent in the State of Oaxaca. The Court ordered the state officials to comply with the ruling.
9 May: The Circuit Court of Pulaski County of the U.S. state of Arkansas found the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the case Wright v. Arkansas. After approximately 450 same-sex couples received marriage licenses in several Arkansas counties, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended Judge Piazza's ruling after a week on 16 May 2014 and enforced a stay while the decision is appealed by Arkansas' Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
13 May: The U.S. District Court of Idaho struck down the marriage laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying in the case Latta v. Otter. Same-sex marriage in Idaho would have become legal on 16 May 2014 at 9:00 a.m. MDT but the ruling was eventually stayed by an appeals court.
20 May: The U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania found the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the case Whitewood v. Wolf, legalizing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
1 June: Legislation granting the right to marry took effect in Illinois.
18 June: The Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg approved legislation that grants same-sex couples the right to marry in 56–4 vote and the law takes effect 1 January 2015. On 24 June the Council of State gave its consent to skip a second vote on the measure. The bill was promulgated by Grand DukeHenri on 4 July and was published in the official gazette on 17 July. It came into effect on 1 January 2015.
19 June: In Vietnam, a law is approved that will abolish the ban on same-sex marriage although same-sex marriages will not be recognized. The revised law, which was approved by the National Assembly (NA) on 19 June 2014, will come into effect on 1 January 2015.
25 June: The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found the Utah ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in the case Kitchen v. Herbert but stayed pending appeal. The decision was delivered by a three-judge panel with a 2–1 split vote in favor of upholding a lower court opinion decided on 20 December 2013.
10 July: The District Court of the Boulder County, Colorado, ruled in favor for the county official who defied the state ban on same-sex marriage when the 10th Circuit issued and stayed the opinion in the case Kitchen v. Herbert. Denver and Pueblo county announced that they will issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples too.
7 October: The Supreme Court of the U.S. state of Colorado dismissed the case Brinkman v. Long and vacated the stay, thus legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the state. The case was decided on 9 July by the District Court of the Adams County, Colorado which ruled unconstitutional the state ban on same-sex marriage
8 October: United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order staying the implementation of same-sex marriage in Nevada and Idaho. Later that day, Kennedy stated that his order of 8 October was erroneous in mentioning Nevada and revised it to apply only to Idaho.Same-sex marriages begin in Nevada.
9 October: The Parliament of Estonia approved the Civil Partnerships Bill 2014 through the third reading in 40–38 vote. It was signed by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves the same day and will take effect on 1 January 2016. It came into effect on 1 January 2016.
9 October: The Attorney General of West Virginia announced that in light of the Supreme Court declining to review the Fourth Circuit ruling, he considers same-sex marriage legal in West Virginia, and he will stop defending the state's law banning same-sex marriage. The Governor of West Virginia issued a similar statement and ordered all state agencies to comply. Marriage licenses were issued immediately.
17 October: U.S. District Judge John Sedwick rules Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, making same-sex marriage legal in Arizona.
17 October: U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl rules Wyoming's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. On 21 October, Wyoming notified the court that they will not appeal, and same-sex marriages start in Wyoming.
4 November: U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree rules in Marie v. Moser that Kansas's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. His decision takes effect on 12 November when the state defendants exhaust their options for obtaining a stay pending appeal.
19 November: U.S. District Judge Brian Morris rules in Rolando v. Fox that Montana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, making same-sex marriage legal in Montana.
25 November: Two U.S. district courts struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in Arkansas in Jernigan v. Crane and in Mississippi in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant.
28 November: The Parliament of Finland votes to legalize same-sex marriage by a vote of 105–92. Secondary legislation would be required before this law came into effect. The first same-sex marriages took place on 1 March 2017.
16 December: The Irish Government decides to hold the Marriage Equality referendum in May 2015. The referendum, which is expected to be held on 22 May, proposes to add to the Irish Constitution a declaration that "marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex". Ireland introduced civil partnership in 2011.
23 December: The Parliament of Taiwan (The Republic of China) considered legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Cheng Li-chiun proposed a bill with gender-neutral wording.
1 January: An amended Marriage and Family Law becomes effective in Vietnam, allowing same-sex couples to marry (albeit without legal recognition).
23 January: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Alabama.
20 February: President Sauli Niinistö of Finland signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making Finland the last of the Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was approved by Parliament in November 2014 and it took effect in March 2017.
22 May: The Republic of Ireland is the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage and its constitutional protection by a popular vote in a referendum. There was a yes vote of 62% to a no vote of 38%.
26 May: Greenland's parliament, by a vote of 27–0, unanimously approves same-sex marriage. The law entered into force on 1 April 2016.
29 August: The President of Ireland formally signs same-sex marriage protection into the Irish Constitution, the first country to do so, following the successful Marriage Equality referendum on 22 May 2015.
22 September: The States of Jersey, Channel Islands, agrees, in principle, on a vote of 37 to 4 with 1 abstention that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Legislation to bring the law into effect is scheduled to be introduced by January 2017.
26 November: The Civil Partnership Bill was passed by the Cyprus House, Interior Ministry has announced. The bill passed with 39 votes for, 12 against, while three MPs abstained.
10 December: The States of Guernsey, Channel Islands, agrees in a vote of 37 to 7 to introduce same sex marriage.
17 December: A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Mexican state of Nayarit is approved by the state congress, in a 26–1 vote, with 1 abstention.
23 December: The Greek Parliament passes same-sex civil unions law which legalised civil partnerships.
25 February: The Italian Senate approves a Civil Union bill in a 173–71 vote. The bill would then face a vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
4 March: Ecuadorian province of Azuay unanimously approves an ordinance which creates a marriage register for same-sex couples. As marriage is regulated by the Ecuadorian state, the ordinance of Azuay only represents a symbolic recognition.
1 September: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Malta. A bill for legalization passed Parliament on 12 July and was signed by the President on 1 August.
1 October: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Germany.
3 November: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Mexican state of Baja California by government decree.
15 November: Same-sex marriage is approved by a non-binding postal plebiscite in Australia, with 61.6% of the population voting yes. When an amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 was passed by parliament (on 29 November), Australia legalised same-sex marriage.
29 November: The Australian Senate approves a same-sex marriage bill by 43 votes to 12.
7 December: The Australian House of Representatives passes a vote in favor of same-sex marriage upon third reading, with 136 voting in favor, four voting against and eight abstaining.
9 December: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia.
14 December: Senators in Bermuda vote to ban any further same-sex marriage and institute domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, months after its Supreme Court legalized it.
19 December: Legislative Council of St Helena votes to legalise same-sex marriage.
20 December: Same sex marriage becomes legal in Saint Helena.
9 January: After a motion presented by Costa Rica requesting clarifications on the rights of same-sex couples, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that all signatory parties of the Pact of San José were required to provide the same rights to same-sex couples, including marriage, possibly legalizing same-sex marriage in most of the Americas. The governments of Costa Rica and Panama announced that they would comply.
1 June: Same-sex marriage is no longer legal in Bermuda.
10 September: The Labor Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Ecuador overturns earlier court decisions legalising same-sex marriage, ruling that legalisation is a decision for the National Assembly or the Constitutional Court.
^Hinsch, Bret. (1990). Passions of the Cut Sleeve. University of California Press. pp. 35–36.
^Nero missed her so greatly after her death that on learning of a woman who resembled her he at first sent for her and kept her; but later he caused a boy of the freedmen, whom he used to call Sporus,..."he formally "married" Sporus, and assigned the boy a regular dowry according to contract;" q.v., Suetonius Nero 28; Dio Cassius Epitome 62.28
Old Translation of passage at: