AMSTERDAM (AP) – Twenty years ago, shortly after midnight on April 1, the mayor of Amsterdam married four couples in the city hall, as the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
“There are two reasons to be happy. Job Mayor Job ob Cohen told the newlyweds before serving the pink champagne և pink cake. ″ You celebrate your marriage as you և celebrate your right to marry.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 28 countries, including the self-governing island of Taiwan. It covers most of Western Europe. However, its distribution is unequal. Taiwan is the only place in Asia that took that step. South Africa is the only African country to do so.
“If you had told me 20 years ago that same-sex marriage would be a reality in 29 countries today, I would not believe you,” said Ressica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, an LGBTQ rights group.
But he noted that as the world becomes increasingly LGBTQ-friendly, nearly 70 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality.
“The progress is great, without a doubt. “But we have a long way to go,” Stern said.
In many countries, even outside of Asia: Africa, opposition to marriage equality remains rampant. In Guatemala, some lawmakers have proposed a bill that explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage. In Poland, President Andrzej Duda was re-elected last year after a campaign that made the LGBTQ rights movement more harmful than communism.
Poland is one of the countries in Eastern Europe that has resisted same-sex marriage, while 16 countries in Western Europe have legalized it.
Switzerland is on the way to becoming the 17th. In December, his parliament approved the legalization of same-sex marriage. But the law did not come into force, the opponents are trying to collect enough signatures to demand a referendum to overturn it.
Elsewhere, same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, Canada, and Costa Rica. five South American countries; Most of the 32 states of Mexico; Australia և New Zealand.
Together, these countries are home to about 1.2 billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population. The legalization took place in different ways. Judicial decisions, legislation դեպքում In the case of Ireland, validation by the voters of the 2015 national referendum.
Several European countries, including Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic, provide civil unions for same-sex couples. But even if those arrangements offer multiple protections against marriage, many LGBTQ activists see them as inferior to second-class status.
Just two weeks ago, the Vatican orthodox office announced that the Catholic Church would not bless homosexual unions because God “could not bless sin.”
There have been more than 18,000 same-sex marriages in the Netherlands since 2001, 53% of them by two women, according to the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics. The bureau says about 400 same-sex marriages are broken up each year.
Amsterdam will celebrate its anniversary on April 1 with an online symposium on a rainbow ride along 20 sites considered important in the fight for LGBTQ rights.
“There are still reasons to worry,” they say from the city. “Because equal rights do not automatically lead to the same treatment for everyone.”
One of the couples who got married 20 years ago, Gert Castill և Dolph Pasker, told the Associated Press that they were warmly welcomed by neighbors and partners, although they were aware that anti-LGBTQ sentiment continued elsewhere.
“For most people, this is no longer a problem,” said Pasker. “Oh happy, happy day.”
In contrast to the Netherlands, the United States had 11 years open in 2004 for the first legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts և 2015. The decision of the Supreme Court, by which the legalization was spread in the territory of the republic. According to the Williams Institute, the analytical center of the UCLA Law School, which specializes in research on LGBTQ issues, by 2020 there were 513,000 same-sex couples married in the United States.
As in other countries legalizing same-sex marriage, popular support for the concept has grown steadily in the United States since 2004. At the time, according to Gallup Poll, 42% of Americans believed that same-sex marriage should be legalized. Last year, that figure reached 67%.
In Africa, where religious and cultural traditions are often disgusted with homosexuality, no country is on the path to joining South Africa to legalize same-sex marriage.
The situation in Asia is more fluid. A bill on same-sex partnership has been proposed in the Thai parliament. In Japan, where some local governments recognize same-sex marriage, a court recently ruled that same-sex marriage should be allowed under the Constitution. The decision has no direct legal force, but activists say it could affect other lawsuits, prompting them to seek parliamentary deliberations to allow same-sex marriage.
In 2018, India violated the Colonial Age Act, which punished homosexuals for up to 10 years in prison. But same-sex marriages remain illegal; The government says gay couples do not guarantee “family unit” status.
Over the past 20 years, the Equality of Marriage movement has taken shape in Europe and America, with opponents around the world offering a number of major counter-arguments.
One general warning about religious freedom is when some religious leaders predict repression for religions that do not approve of homosexuality.
For the most part, in countries with same-sex marriages, beliefs have been able to preserve their marriage rites. There have been a number of high-profile lawsuits, including one involving a conservative Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Another argument was that the legalization of same-sex marriage would undermine the very institution of marriage.
Lawyer Evan Wolfson, who helped organize the US Marriage Equality Movement as head of the Free Marriage Advocacy Group, assessed this argument in a recent article in the European Review of Human Rights.
“Marriage story is a story of change և inclusion of change. “Heaven did not fall when marriage embraced same-sex couples,” he wrote. “There is enough marriage to divorce.”
Kirey reports from New York. Associated Press reporters at the Vanessa Gera Կր Krutika Pat in New Delhi contributed to this report.