As Australia excitedly celebrates a ‘yes’ vote to enact same-sex marriage, we’re reminded of the fact that plenty of other countries have also taken this momentous step. If you’re keen to embrace love for all (and we never need an excuse to attend a wedding!), here are a few countries besides the land Down Under where marriage is for all – as it should be!
Maintaining its reputation for being one of the most progressive countries in the world, the Netherlands was the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. You could also visit for its cheese and tulips, or to check out its famous art museums.
Ireland let its rainbow flag fly when it voted ‘YES’ to allow gay couples to marry in 2015. The first ceremonies began on 17th November, 2015. Yet another reason to visit this island of overwhelming green scenery, some of the best pubs on the planet, and an incredible literary history.
Though its neighbour over the ditch only just embraced same-sex marriage, it’s been legal in New Zealand for more than four years. Last year, more foreigners were wed in same-sex ceremonies than Kiwis – the majority from Australia. While you’re visiting, be sure to check out the top-notch food and coffee scene in Auckland, go bungee jumping in Queenstown, and soak up the natural beauty of Milford Sound.
Canada’s provinces gradually introduced same-sex marriage from 2003, until it was legalised nationwide in 2005. It was the fourth country in the world to legalise marriage between same-sex couples, and the first outside of Europe. What’s more, Canadian tuxedos (double denim) isn’t compulsory at any wedding.
Massachusetts legalised same sex marriage in 2003, and other American states slowly followed suit until 2015, when a court found that banning gay couples from marriage was unconstitutional and same-sex marriages became legal across the country. From north to south to east to west, the USA is packed full of incredible things to see and do.
The first country in Latin America, second in the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere, and the 10th country in the world to legalise gender neutral marriage was Argentina. More than 16,200 same-sex couples have tangoed down the aisle since it was legalised in 2010. Great food and spectacular scenery only add to our desire to visit this South American nation!
The Brazilians love a party, so it’s no surprise that in 2013 they found another reason to celebrate: it was in this year that same-sex marriage was legalised! As the biggest country in South America, it means a large chunk of the continent’s citizens can say ‘I do’. Double down on the festivities by visiting during Carnival!
The fifth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage was South Africa. It still remains the only country in Africa where gay couples are able to be wed, and was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to make the change. While you’re there, go on safari, or check out the burgeoning food, drink and arts scene in Cape Town.
Spain showed its pride in 2005 by legalising same-sex marriage. It was the third country in the world to open up marriage to couples of the same gender, after the Netherlands and Belgium, and was just 17 days ahead of Canada legalising such unions. Throw in history, culture and tapas, and it’s one of our ultimate destinations!