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Canada Offers Legal Marriage
by Demian
© September 15, 2007, Demian


Canada offered legal marriage on June 28, 2005.

After many years of debate, a federal election, a reference to the Supreme Court, plus court decisions in eight provinces and one territory, Canada has finally become the third country, after Belgium and the Netherlands, to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Civil Marriage Act (Bill C-38) passed the third reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 158-133. The bill need only receive approval from the Senate, which is a forgone conclusion, and royal assent to become law.

The new law, which defines civil marriage as “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others,” will remedy several longstanding problems. First, it ensures that gay mens and lesbians are no longer second-class citizens by recognizing the equality of their relationships. Second, it replaces the previously intolerable situation, in which same-sex couples were allowed to marry in some provinces but not others, with a uniform framework across Canada.

The Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland (includes Labrador), Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory all offered legal marriage for same-sex couples before Canada’s government voted for it.

Unlike legal marriage in the Netherlands and Belgium, it was high court interpretations of the Canadian Constitution that brought about removal of the ban in the provinces. The Canadian federal system allowed legal marriage throughout the country by parliamentary vote.

While many countries offer some kind of domestic partnership status — and many mistakenly refer to it as “marriage” — none have the full equality in legal, economic and social stature as is available in legal marriage. Other countries that do offer true legal marriage are listed at the end of this article.

Introduction
Chronology of Legalization through Court Order
Implications for Americans
Marriage License Requirements

Introduction

The Canadian legal marriage status — which first came about on July 8, 2003 — became a reality because many Canadian courts interpreted the constitution as applying to all citizens.
    [Please see our article: Canadian Suits for Legal Marriage]

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the rights of all Canadians, including the right of equality and the right to be free from discrimination on a number of prohibitive grounds. Since 1995, the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that one of the protected grounds of discrimination is sexual orientation.

On September 13, 2004, an Ontario Superior Court Justice Ruth Mesbur ruled that the definition of spouses in the Divorce Act was unconstitutional. The Act stated that only spouses, defined as a man and woman, can divorce. A lesbian couple, “J.H.” and “M.M.,” had been together nearly 10 years when they married in June 2003. They separated five days later. While not as joyous as a marriage process, this ruling allows for same-sex couples to participate in the orderly, legal process that divorce affords.

On December 9, 2004, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that, firstly, the government has the authority to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, and secondly, religious officials cannot be forced to perform unions against their beliefs.

The judgement was in favor of lower court findings from six provinces and one territory affirming same-sex marriages. The nine Supreme Court justices join 19 other judges across Canada that have found in favour of equal marriage for all Canadians, regardless of their orientation.

The ruling did not call the traditional definition of marriage “unconstitutional,” however, it removed the possibility that Alberta, the only province interested in upholding that definition through the use of the “notwithstanding” clause.

“Several centuries ago, it would have been understood that marriage be available only to opposite-sex couples. The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today.”
Supreme Court of Canada, December 9, 2004
Court ruling allowing the Canadian government to proceed with legal marriage
In June 2004, soon after Quebec became the third province to legalize same-sex marriage, Canada placed a bar on foreign, legal, same-sex marriages. The policy recognized them for immigration purposes only if the ceremony was performed in Canada, and if at least one of the partners was Canadian or a permanent resident. It also clearly stated: “If you were married outside Canada, you cannot apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse.”

When same-sex marriage was made legal throughout Canada in 2005, the bar on legal, foreign, same-sex marriages remained in place. On January 24, 2007, the Citizenship and Immigration Committee wrote that the interim policy on same-sex marriage is finally annuled. As a result, same-sex marriages legally performed in Canada and in foreign jurisdictions are now recognized for all immigration purposes.


On September 12, 2007, Statistics Canada released figures from the 2006 census that, for the first time, include information on same-sex married couples. The data showed that same-sex couples with children are far more likely to get married than those without kids.

According to the census, nearly one-in-four lesbian married couples in B.C. (24 per cent) have a child living with them, compared with just 13 per cent of lesbian couples living common-law.

While gay men are far less likely to have children than lesbians, they, too, show a big difference. Of those who live with children, 6.8 per cent are gay married men, and just 0.5 per cent are unmarried gay male couples.

University of B.C. law professor Fiona Kelly, who had interviewed 49 lesbian mothers as part of a research project, said married lesbians often cite their children as a big reason they had a legal marriage. She also concluded that lesbian couples with older children are often pressured by their children to get hitched.

“They [same-sex couples] felt it sent an important message to their children that they were committed to each other. In some of the families, it was their sole reason for getting married.


Chronology of Legalization through Court Order
Ontario - June 10, 2003
British Columbia - July 8, 2003
Québec - March 18, 2004
Yukon - July 14, 2004
Manitoba - September 16, 2004
Nova Scotia - September 24, 2004
Saskatchewan - November 5, 2004
Newfoundland and Labrador - December 21, 2004
New Brunswick - June 23, 2005
Prince Edward Island - July 7, 2005
Ontario

On June 10, 2003, Ontario became the first Canadian territory — and third government in the world — to offer legal marriage to same-sex couples.

As of June 28, 2003, Toronto issued 220 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, including six to Canadian pairs from outside the province, and 21 to American couples. Couples have also come from China, Australia, Israel, and the Cayman Islands.

By January 13, 2005, 1,000 same-sex couples received a marriage license.

As of September 2005, 2,700 couples that have married in Toronto, about 55 percent are female and 45 percent are male couples.


British Columbia

On July 8, 2003, British Columbia began offering legal marriage to same-sex couples.

The B.C. Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel ordered the “reformulation of the common law definition” of marriage to declare it a union of two individuals, regardless of gender. They ruled that limiting marriage to heterosexual partners is “an offense to the dignity of lesbians and gays” and a violation of the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canadian courts in Ontario and Quebec, came to similar conclusions.

The first day that marriage licenses were available to same-sex couples, July 8, 2003, the B.C. Vital Statistics offices across the province sold 11 licenses. All, but one, went to B.C. residents. As of August 2, 2003, 77 same-sex couples registered to be legally married.

By December 31, 2003, 700 same-sex couples were legally married. 553 were from B.C. 613 were Canadian (B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and the Yukon). 66 came from the U.S., and 21 from Australia, the U.K., France, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland.


Québec

On March 18, 2004, Québec began offering legal marriage to same-sex couples.

Joining Ontario and British Columbia in ruling that the federal government’s definition of marriage is unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples were entitled to marry, the Court of Appeal upheld a lower-court ruling that the traditional definition of marriage is discriminatory and unjustified. That ruling had been challenged by both the Federal government and an umbrella group of conservative churches.

Following rulings in Ontario and British Columbia that allowed same-sex couples to marry, the government dropped the Quebec appeal. In the ruling, the court said that the decisions by the other provinces rendered the religious groups’ appeal as moot.

The original case for legal marriage in Quebec was brought by Montreal 30-year couple Michael Hendricks and Rene Leboeuf. The Court of Appeal said there was nothing to prevent the granting of marriage licenses.

The ruling put more than two thirds of the Canadian population in provinces that allow same-sex marriage.

The Federal government then submitted draft legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada to legalize same-sex marriage cross country.

It also has asked the court to render a Constitutional opinion on the following questions:

  • Does Parliament have the exclusive legislative authority to change the legal definition of marriage?
  • Is extending the capacity to marry to persons of the same sex consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
  • Does the Charter protect religious officials “from being compelled to perform a marriage between two persons of the same sex that is contrary to their religious beliefs?”
  • Can same-sex marriage be called instead “Civil Unions?”
Thousands of same-sex couples had already married in B.C. and Ontario. Canada has earned a reputation as one of the most progressive countries in the world. Studies show this progressiveness attracts top professionals, as well as a flood of tourists.

Yukon

On July 14, 2004, the Yukon Territory began offering legal marriage to same-sex couples.

On that date, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Peter McIntyre declared that the old common law definition of marriage was unconstitutional. The ruling changes the territory’s definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.


Manitoba

On September 16, 2004, Manitoba allowed same-sex couples access to legal marriage.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Douglas Yard ruled that the current definition of marriage in provincial law is unconstitutional. Justice Yard: “The traditional definition of marriage in Manitoba is reformulated to mean a voluntary union for life of two persons at the exclusion of all others.”

The case was brought forward by three same-sex couples who argued for the right to marry. The couples sued the provincial and federal governments asking that the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman be declared contrary to the equality provision in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Lawyers for the federal government, which has jurisdiction over the definition of marriage, did not oppose the motion, the first time that federal lawyers did not try to fight or adjourn a court battle over this issue.

In the first nine months of 2005, 38 female and 19 male couples married. During that same time, there have been approximately 6,000 marriages in the province.


Nova Scotia

On September 24, 2004, Nova Scotia allowed same-sex couples access to legal marriage.

Three couples sued to find out and whether or not same-sex couples who have married outside Nova Scotia should have their status recognized in the province. The couples: Brian Mombourquette and Ross Boutilier, Kim Vance and Samantha Meehan (married in Toronto in 2003), and Ron and Brian Garnett-Doucette (together almost 20 years).

Ron and Bryan became the first same-sex couple to apply for a legal marriage license in Nova Scotia.

Justice Heather Robertson’s ruling effectively changes the definition of marriage in Nova Scotia to “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” The couples’ marriage applications were not opposed by either the federal or Nova Scotia governments.


Saskatchewan

On November 5, 2004, Saskatchewan allowed same-sex couples access to legal marriage.

The legal bar to marriage was challenged by five same-sex couples, spearheaded by Nicole White and Julie Richards of Saskatoon, who felt the province was skirting the issue. Justice Donna Wilson wrote in her five-page ruling that existing marriage laws wrongfully discriminate against same-sex couples.


Newfoundland and Labrador

On December 21, 2004, Newfoundland and Labrador allowed same-sex couples access to legal marriage.


New Brunswick

On June 23, 2005, New Brunswick Judge Judy Clendenning ruled in favor of the four same-sex couples seeking the right to marry.

In her ruling, the Judge agreed that the refusal to grant them marriage licenses is a violation of the Canadian Constitution, and changed the definition of civil marriage from a lawful union between a man and a woman, to a lawful union “between two persons.” A bid by conservative religious groups to be heard in the case had been rejected. Clendenning ruled that they weren’t bringing anything “new or unique” to the table other than trying to make same-sex marriage a “morality” issue.


Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island’ Attorney General Mildred Dover announced on July 7, 2005, that the province would be legalizing marriage for same-sex couples.

The decision grew out of the fact that the federal government had already done so, despite the bill not yet officially passing. This province has always stated that they would comply if the federal government passed same-sex legislation.


Implications for Americans

A legal marriage license should provide a same-sex couple with all the rights and responsibilities all other citizens are allowed.

If one partner is Canadian, or a permanent resident, the married partner would be allowed to apply the marriage toward Canadian immigration status.

However, when a same-sex couple, married in Canada, comes to the U.S., the U.S. federal system will likely refuse to recognize the marriage because the U.S. government has made the anti-marriage DoMA law, which specifically targets same-sex couples.
    [Also see our article: U.S. Federal Laws for the Legally Married.]

The U.S. has no international obligations to recognize marriages from other nations, but generally has done so, unless they violate established public policy.

It is also likely that, because the majority of U.S. states have made laws denying recognition to any legal marriage licenses held by same-sex couples, there would be widespread disrespect of such a license.

Problems are likely to arise from the fact that while some people, companies, and government bodies may respect, honor and legally recognize the same-sex marriage license for all purposes — some may recognize if for some purposes and not others — and some may refuse to recognize it at all.

What those people, companies, and government bodies do may not be consistent, and may not make sense. Same-sex couples who marry are pioneers and, to some extent, are venturing into uncharted territory. They may be face a range of social and legal challenges.

Another complication arises if a couple wishes to divorce. They would not be able to do so in their resident state if their state did not recognize the marriage in the first place. To get a divorce, one of the partners would need to reside in Canada for a year.

If a legal marriage was not recognized in the U.S., it is hoped that a couple would contact a civil rights group that is already involved with these legal battles.

    [For further information, please see this advisory from gay and lesbian civil rights groups:
    Thinking of Getting Married in Canada?]


No Recognition by U.S. Court

On August 17, 2005, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul B. Snyder ruled that principles of “comity” governing recognition of foreign marriages would not require the court to allow an American same-sex couple married in Canada to file a joint bankruptcy petition as spouses.

Finding that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), which specifies that only marriages between one man and one woman can be recognized by the federal government, required dismissing the petition, Snyder also rejected arguments that DoMA’s application in this case violates applicants’ constitutional rights.

Lee and Ann Kandu, were residents of Washington State, and married in August 2003 in British Columbia. Soon after, both women were diagnosed with cancer and faced significant debts as their expenses mounted and they had difficulty working. The couple long ago combined their finances, and Lee filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in October 2003, listing Ann as her spouse and joint debtor, in order to protect their property.

Ann Kandu died in March 2005. Lee sought to have their assets and debts dealt with under bankruptcy law as a lawfully married couple. Ann was the title holder.

The court agreed with the U.S. Trustee who argued that the bankruptcy code, which limits joint filings to legal “spouses,” must be interpreted in line with DOMA.

Lee Kandu had claimed that DoMA’s federal definition of marriage is itself unconstitutional, and that her marriage should be recognized by the Bankruptcy Court as a matter of constitutional law.

The U.S. has no international obligations to recognize marriages from other nations, but generally does so unless they violate established public policy.

The court found that federal public policy was declared by Congress when it passed DoMA. The loss of this case will likely create a severe hardship for the petitioner, Lee Kandu, who may well lose her home.


Marriage License Requirements
Alberta
British Columbia
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Québec
Alberta
  • Purchase a Marriage Licence from any marriage licence issuer at a registry agent in Alberta.
  • The couple being married must present their marriage licence to the marriage officiate prior to their wedding.
  • A marriage licence is valid for three months from the date it is issued, and is only valid to be married in the province of Alberta.
  • Both parties to the marriage must apply together for their marriage licence.
  • Both parties must provide the marriage licence issuer with valid identification.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age (persons under the age of 18 must obtain consent to marry. Consent forms for minors are available from the marriage licence issuer).
  • If the marital status of either party to the marriage is divorced, copies of the final court documentation is required.
  • The applicants cannot be related by lines of consanguinity (close relation or connection). Federal legislation prohibits people from marrying if the are related linearly or as brother and sister, whether by whole blood, half blood or by adoption. Specifically: a woman may not marry her grandfather, father, grandson, son or brother. A man may not marry his grandmother, mother, granddaughter, daughter or sister.
  • Where either party are not fluent in English, they must provide a translator/interpreter who is over the age of 18 and is fluent in English as well as the language he is translating.
  • Where an applicant is mentally challenged notice must be made by the marriage licence issuer to the appropriate trustee or guardian.
  • There are no residency requirements; blood tests are not required.

From Alberta’s Web site:
Marriage License Information
Alberta Registry Agents


British Columbia
  • Identification required:
          Full name, including given names.
          Birth date and place.
          Marital status.
          Current address.
  • Only one member of the couple needs to apply for a marriage licence.
  • Can$100 fee.
  • Can$75 if a civil marriage ceremony is desired.
  • License is valid for three months.
  • Must be 19 or older.
  • Those 16-19 must obtain consent of both parents.
  • Younger than 16 must get consent of the Supreme or County Court.
  • No residency requirement.
  • No blood test.
  • Proof of divorce required if one or both parties was divorced within the last 31 days.
  • Religious or civil ceremony must be witnessed by two people.
  • After marriage, continue using same surname, or use your spouse’s. This does not result in a legal name change, or automatic change to your identification records. If you choose to use hyphenated surnames, a legal name change is required.
  • Divorce is granted only if one of the married partners has lived in B.C. for one year or more, and can demonstrate that the marriage has broken down.
    To establish marriage breakdown, one must prove that there has been:
          A separation for at least one year, or
          Adultery, or
          Physically and/or mentally cruelty.

For more marriage license details, see British Columbia’s Web site:
How to Get Married in British Columbia

For more divorce details, see British Columbia’s Web site:
How Do I Get a Divorce?


Nova Scotia

Step 1
Applying for a Marriage Licence

  • The Solemnization of Marriage Act requires that you obtain a marriage licence before getting married in Nova Scotia. The licence does not mean that you are married, but that you may get married. The licence will expire one year from date of issuance.
  • Either party to the intended marriage must apply in person to a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences in their community (find a location near you).
  • Only one member of the couple needs to apply for the licence, but you will be asked to provide identification and proof of age for both parties to the intended marriage. Information required with identification will include:
          Full name, including given names
          Age
          Marital status
          Current address
  • The fee for a marriage licence is Can$106.50
  • There is a five day waiting period between the day of application for the licence and the date of issuance.

Who can get married?
  • Anyone over 19 years of age is eligible to apply for a marriage licence in Nova Scotia.
  • Anyone under 19 years of age must first obtain the consent of both parents. Your local Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences has the required consent forms.
  • No one under the age of 16 years can be married without the consent of the Court.
  • You do not have to be a Nova Scotia resident in order to be married here, but the licence is only valid in this Province.
  • If you are living outside Canada or are from another province please read the requirements for purchasing a marriage license in Nova Scotia. If you are not able to apply for the marriage license in person at least 5 days prior to the wedding at a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences in the community in which you will be married, please contact Vital Statistics for further information.
  • Blood tests are not required under Nova Scotia legislation.
  • If one or both of the intended parties was divorced, final proof of divorce (called Certificate of Divorce or Decree Absolute) must be provided when applying for a marriage license. If the divorce occurred in another country and the final divorce papers are in another language, a copy of the translated document will be required.
  • If one or both of the intended parties was widowed, proof of death must be provided.

Step 2
The Marriage Ceremony
  • In Nova Scotia, couples can choose a religious or civil ceremony. Either type of ceremony must be witnessed by two people who are at least 16 years of age.
  • Religious ceremonies are performed by a religious representative of your choice, as long as they are registered with Nova Scotia Vital Statistics under the Solemnization of Marriage Act.
  • Civil ceremonies are performed by a Justice of the Peace or Judge. Contact the Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences to obtain a list of Justices of the Peace authorized to perform marriages. You can also get this list of Justices of the Peace from the Department of Justice website.

Which name can you use?

Step 3 Registering the Marriage

  • The religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge who performs the ceremony will also help to complete the necessary Marriage Registration Form.
  • This form is then sent within 48 hours of the marriage ceremony by the religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge to the Deputy Issuer who returns it to the Vital Statistics office, where the marriage is registered and a legal record is kept.
  • At the time of the ceremony, your religious representative or Justice of the Peace or Judge will provide you with a certificate of marriage. This certificate is a “memento” document, and is not legal proof of marriage.
  • After the marriage, and following the receipt and registration of the Marriage Registration Form, you may apply to Vital Statistics for an official Marriage Certificate, which is legal proof of marriage.

How do you order a certificate?

Issuing Department / Agency:
Vital Statistics Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations

Licence and information: Contact a Deputy Issuer of Marriage Licences properly authorized by the Government of Nova Scotia.

For administrative purposes only, contact the Vital Statistics Office.
Outside Nova Scotia: 902-424-4381
Toll-Free in Nova Scotia: 1-877-848-2578
fax 902-424-0678
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday except Holidays
Visit Vital Statistics Office
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Joseph Howe Building, 1690 Hollis St., Ground Floor, Halifax, NS B3J 3J9, Canada
vstat@gov.ns.ca; P.O. Box 157, Halifax, NS B3J 2M9, Canada


Ontario

After obtaining a license, the marriage must be solemnized by a judge, justice of the peace, or an authorized religious representative. The person who officiates then files the paperwork with the Ontario Provincial Office of the Registrar General. The married couple may apply to receive their official marriage certificate in about 12 weeks.

  • License obtained from the clerk of most cities, townships, towns or villages.
    (Marriage License Issuers are listed in municipal blue pages.)
  • License is valid for three months.
  • One or both parties must apply for license in person.
  • License is available to non-citizens.
  • Photo identification required, along with IDs such as:
          Birth certificate
          Change of name certificates
          Current passport
          Record of Immigrant Landing
          Canadian citizenship card
  • Can$100 fee.
  • Can$75 if a civil marriage ceremony is desired.
  • Two witnesses are needed for the ceremony.
  • Must be at least 18 by license or under the authority of the publication of church banns.
  • 16-17 years old may marry with written consent of both parents.
  • If you are living outside Canada, or are from another province, contact the municipality in which you intend to get married for more information.
  • Proof of divorce required:
          Certified copies of divorce papers
          A brief (legal opinion) written by an Ontario attorney, addressed to both applicants,
          giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in Ontario.
          If you were divorced outside of Canada, you must obtain authorization from the
          Minister of Consumer and Business Services before a marriage license can be issued.
  • License is officiated either by a member of a recognized religious organization authorized to perform marriages, or by a judge, justice of the peace, or municipal clerk. The marriage can be solemnized under the authority of a marriage licence, or the publication of banns, depending on the denomination.
  • Other restrictions may apply.
  • Divorce requires a year residency in Canada.

For more details, see Ontario’s Web site:

Marriage - Obtaining a Marriage Certificate in Ontario
Separation and Divorce - Getting a Divorce


Québec
  • One or both parties must apply for license in person.
  • Can$? fee [no amount mentioned on government Web site] (cash, debit/credit card, certified cheque, postal money order, bank money order - pay to: “ministre des Finances du Québec”).
  • Must be at least 18.
  • 16-17-year-olds may marry with parents’ or tutor’s consent.
  • Officiant must “publish the bans,” i.e., post notice 20 days before the marriage.
  • Bans posted where the marriage is to be solemnised.
  • Bans contains the name and domicile, and date and place of birth of each intended spouse.
  • Publication exemption can be obtained for “serious reasons.”
  • Any interested party, including a minor, can oppose the marriage for good reasons.
  • Marriage is contracted openly before a Directeur de l’état civil authorised officiant, and before two witnesses.
  • Proof of divorce or widowed status required.
  • Other restrictions may apply.
  • Divorce requires a year residency in Canada.

Tourists can marry in Québec at the Palais de justice (courthouse).

Palais de justice de Montréal
Service des mariages civils
1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Bureau 3.150, Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1B6
514-393-2113

Palais de justice de Québec
Service des mariages civils
300, boulevard Jean-Lesage, Bureau 1.24, Québec (Québec) G1K 8K6
418-649-3501

  • Complete and file the Marriage civil form along with the two birth certificates.
  • The future married couple will be summoned to an interview at which time the date of the marriage will be determined.

Official Québec government Web sites:

Le mariage
Marriage

Coordonnées des palais de justice pour le Service des mariages civils
List of courthouses for the civil marriage services

Gouvernement du Québec
Québec Government Portal


Resources

Canadians for Equal Marriage
    equal-marriage.ca
    310 - 396 Cooper St., Ottawa, ON K2P 2H7
    Media only: Laurie Arron, National Coordinator, 416-839-7178; laurie@equal-marriage.ca
    Nation-wide, bilingual campaign made up of individuals and organizations from all walks
    of Canadian life and all political stripes, including those with no political affiliation.




Governments that offer Full Legal Marriage
Nations

    Netherlands (2001)
    Belgium (2003)
    Canada (2005)
    Spain (2005)
    South Africa (2005)
    Norway (2009)
    Sweden (2009)
    Iceland (2010)
    Argentina (2010)
    Portugal (2010)
    Denmark (2012)
    France (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    Brazil (2013)
    Uruguay (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    United Kingdom
      (England, Wales, Scotland) (2013)
    Luxembourg (2014)
    Finland (2014)
    Ireland (2015)
    United States (2015)
    Colombia (2016)
    Germany (2017)
    Taiwan (2017)
    Malta (2017)
US States & Territories

    Massachusetts (2004)
    California (2008)
    Connecticut (2008)
    Iowa (2009)
    Vermont (2009)
    New Hampshire (2009)
    District of Columbia (2009)
    New York (2011)
    Maine (2012)
    Washington (2012)
    Maryland (2013)
    Rhode Island (2013)
    Delaware (2013)
    Minnesota (2013)
    Illinois (2013)
    Utah (2013)
    New Jersey (2013)
    Hawaii (2013)
    New Mexico (2013)
    Michigan (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Oregon (2014)
    Wisconsin (2014)
    

    Arkansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Pennsylvania (2014)
    Indiana (2014)
    Nevada (2014)
    Virginia (2014)
    Oklahoma (2014)
    Idaho (2014)
    West Virginia (2014)
    Alaska (2014)
    Arizona (2014)
    Wyoming (2014)
    Kansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Florida (2014)
    Colorado (2014)
    North Carolina (2014)
    South Carolina (2014)
    Montana (2014)
    Alabama (2015)
    U.S. Supreme Court (June 26, 2015):
      Ruling: All U.S. States must now
      allow same-sex couples the
      freedom of legal marriage.
Native American Tribes

    Coquille Tribe, Oregon (2009)
    Mashantucket Pequot, Connecticut (2011)
    Suquamish Tribe, Washington (2011)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington (2013)
    Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota (2013)
    Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Santa Ysabel Tribe, California (2013)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, Washington (2013)
    Cheyenne, Oklahoma (2013)
    Arapaho, Oklahoma (2013)
    Leech Lake Tribal Court, Minnesota (2013)
    Puyallup Tribe, Washington (2914)
    Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming (2014)
    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan, (2014)
    Colville Confederated Tribes, Washington (2014)
    Central Council of Tlingit, Alaska (2015)
    Haida Indian Tribes, Alaska (2015)

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