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Same Sex Marriage Facts

As of June 26, 2015, 19 out of 194 countries allow same-sex couples to marry nationwide. The world's first legal gay marriage ceremony took place in the Netherlands on Apr. 1, 2001, just after midnight. The four couples, one female and three male, were married in a televised ceremony officiated by the mayor of Amsterdam.

Same Sex Marriage Facts

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1 The Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001.
2 As of 2014, 13 more countries have legalized same-sex marriage. South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Spain are a few of these countries. Massachusetts was the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
3 Though same-sex marriage wasn't legal until the 2000s, same-sex couples were getting married on TV shows in the 1990s. The sitcom "Roseanne" featured a same-sex marriage in 1995 while "Friends" featured a lesbian wedding in 1996.
4 In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (which defined marriage as a union between man and woman) and declared that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages as legal.
5 16 states ban same-sex marriage, some by constitutional amendment, some by law, and the majority by both.
6 In many countries such as Sudan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, gay people can be punished with the death penalty.
7 In 2012, President Obama made US History when he told ABC News, "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. Ask your friends and other social influencers to show their support for LGBTQ rights."
8 7 states provide some, if not all, spousal rights to unmarried couples in domestic partnerships, including California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, and Wisconsin.
9 As of 2014, 20 states have followed: Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
10 Alaska and Hawaii were the first states to legally ban same-sex marriage in 1998.
11 As of 2014, 55% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal.

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