August 21, 2017 / 3:21 PM / in a year

Factbox: State of same-sex marriage around the world

(Story corrects August 21st instance to remove Greenland from countries where same-sex marriage is legal, adds Ireland)

By Beh Lih Yi

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Australia is one of the few developed nations which has yet to legalize same-sex marriage despite a Newspoll survey on Monday showing it is supported by 63 percent of Australians.

Australians will be asked their views on same-sex marriage in a non-compulsory non-binding ballot due to begin next month. If the population votes in favor of gay marriage, then a vote in parliament is expected later in the year.

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

* Same-sex marriage is legal in 24 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, 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 small island nation of Malta was the 24th country to legalize same-sex marriage in mid-July, two weeks after Germany approved a similar measure.

* The first country to legalize 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.

* There are no countries in Asia that 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), Reuters

Reporting by Beh Lih Yi @behlihyi, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit

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