How far do India, other nations have to go in legalising same sex marriage

Jul 08, 2017, 12:25 IST | Debjani Paul

Last week, Germany became the 23rd nation to legalise same-sex marriage. Here's taking a look at how far other nations, including India, have yet to go

Taiwan to be Asia's first?
Last month, Taiwan's apex court struck down the country's anti-gay marriage laws as unconstitutional. What's more, the court issued an ultimatum to the Parliament - legislate same-sex marriage within two years or it will become legal regardless.

Malta on its way
Catholic island country Malta is on the verge of legalising same-sex marriage, as its government tabled a draft law, the Marriage Equality Bill, with the aim of giving all consenting adults the right to enter marriage. It will also be made legal for gay couples to adopt children.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
When: 2008; Talk show host Ellen announced her wedding plans during a taping of The Ellen Show, after California reversed the ban on gay marriage
'I believe one day a ban on gay marriage will sound totally ridiculous. In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us'
– Ellen DeGeneres

Elton John and David Furnish
When: 2014, after eight years in a civil partnership
'There is a world of difference between calling someone your 'partner' and calling them your 'husband'. Until the law recognises David Furnish is my husband, and not merely my partner, the law won't describe the man I know and adore….'
– Elton John

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
When: 2014; The actor couple got married in Italy after being engaged for a decade. They are parents to twins
'I'd like to call him my husband... I've been saying 'better half' for as long as I've been able to'
– Neil Patrick Harris

India has a long way to go

Sridhar Rangayan, filmmaker
'Some countries may have same-sex marriage but that does not mean gay couples will have all the rights as heterosexual couples. Absolute equal rights is a step ahead.'

Sushant Divgikar, model, actor and singer
'We need for Section 377 to go and look towards same sex marriage becoming as a law. We have had so many path-breaking laws, like against Sati and child labour, so why not aspire to same sex marriage?'

Vikram Phukan, playwright
'The abolishment of Section 377 is a signpost that we are yet to reach. But that should not stop us from working towards same-sex marriage.'

British inheritance
Section 377 of the IPC, which prohibits homosexual acts, dates back to the British Raj. A 2008 Human Rights Watch report states that it "became a model anti-sodomy law... almost everywhere the British imperial flag flew."

Countries where gay relations are illegal

Countries that still implement death penalty for homosexual acts

No. of countries where civil partnerships are recognised

*Data from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), as of May 2017

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