Australia votes in favor of same-sex marriage
Reuters

The first legal same-sex marriage in Australia is expected to happen on January 09, 2018. Even though same-sex marriage will be technically legal in the country on December 09, 2017, existing marriage laws in the country compels the couples to give their celebrant one month notice period before they can wed.

However, the notice period can be shortened due to various reasons like medical causes and employment commitments. If any couples make use of this privilege, then the first same-sex marriage may take place before the stipulated time.

Decision after a public poll

The Australian Government led by Malcolm Turnbull decided to take this milestone decision after 61.6 percent of the country's population voted in favour of the move.

The bill put forward by the legislature became a law in the nation when Malcolm Turnbull travelled to Government House and obtained the signature from Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, who is now acting on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Australia's constitutional head of state.

Other countries where same-sex marriage is legal

Australia is not the first country where same-sex marriage has been made legal. As of now, twenty-five countries in the world have recognized gay marriages.

Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay and lesbian marriages long back in 2001. The country also allowed gay couples to adopt children.

The move of Netherlands was well received by other countries in Europe, and as of now, fifteen European nations including, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Britain, Spain and Sweden have legalized same-sex marriages.

More than 30 countries have banned homosexuality in the African continent and the only country to legalize these marriages in the continent is South Africa. In New Zealand, a law in favour of gay and lesbian couples was passed in 2013.

Till 2015, same-sex marriages were illegal in fourteen US states. But a Supreme Court verdict legalized same-sex marriages in the country in 2015. Mexico legalized civil unions and adoptions in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Latin American countries like Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, and Uruguay have also legalized lesbian and gay marriages. In Chile, same-sex marriages were made legal in 2015.

In several countries like India, protests have already begun to legalize same-sex marriages.