On Friday, the US Supreme Court handed down an epochal ruling: Same-sex marriage would be legal in every American state. The US is joining an exclusive club. Only a small fraction of countries worldwide — 21 in total — have marriage equality nationwide, as this map (based on data from the Human Rights Campaign) demonstrates:
The US is now more progressive on the issue of same-sex marriage than is much of the developed world, including in Europe. Germany, Australia, Japan, Austria, Italy, and South Korea don't have nationwide marriage equality. While the UK grants it in England, Scotland, and Wales, it does not in Northern Ireland and so for the purposes of this map showing only nationwide marriage equality does not count. Other countries, such as Mexico, have similar arrangements — as did the US until this week.
American progressives, who are so used to comparing their country unfavorably to the rest of the developed world, finally have something to brag about. Not only are they ahead of the curve, but the United States is by far the largest country with nationwide same-sex marriage rights, extending full marriage equality to more people than any other nation, and indeed to more people than the several next-largest nations combined.
Here's the full list of countries with same-sex marriage, according to the Human Rights Campaign, in alphabetical order:
- Finland (likely to take effect in 2016)
- Greenland (effective October 1,
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Pitcairn Islands
- South Africa
- The United States