15 November 2017

Africa: Factbox - State of Same-Sex Marriage Around the World

London — Same-sex marriage is legal in 25 countries

Australians voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage, paving the way for legislation by the end of 2017 and sending jubilant supporters celebrating in public spaces on Wednesday.

More than three-quarters of the country's eligible voters took part in a voluntary poll, with 61.6 percent voting in favour of marriage equality and 38.4 percent against.

The vote is non-binding but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would fulfill a pledge to raise a bill in parliament with the aim of passing laws by Christmas that could see Australia become the 26th nation to formalise the unions.

Here are the facts about same-sex marriage around the world:

* Same-sex marriage is legal in 25 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, United States.

* In some of these countries, such as Mexico and Britain, marriage is only open to same-sex couples in some regions. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not allowed.

* The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001.

* In Africa, where homosexuality is a crime in many countries and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty, South Africa alone has granted the same access to gay couples. Same-sex marriage legislation came into force there in 2006.

* No countries in Asia allow same-sex couples to marry or enter civil unions of any kind. In May, Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia.

* Almost one in three adults globally believe people of the same sex should be allowed to marry, a survey of almost 100,000 people in 65 countries showed in 2016.

SOURCES: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Pew Research Center, Reuters.

- Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katy Migiro

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