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The future of same-sex marriage has changed recently, especially in the United States. Around the world,same-sex marriage depends on the country’s legal and institutional networks. Many countries have strong laws protecting same-sex marriage or other legal statuses with similar meaning. 

The laws protecting same-sex marriage often connect to laws about LGBT parenting. As conservative government move into power, the laws protecting same-sex relationships are coming under fire. In many countries, the political structure determines the future of same-sex marriages.

Government Systems Affecting Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Countries with parliamentary systems rely on their legislatures to create strong laws that protect families of all types. In countries with judiciary systems that affect laws, the protections have come under fire. Other countries have put the choice in the hands of the voters, who have decided to give all families a chance at success. 

Why Countries Haven’t Adopted Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Some countries have yet to enact laws protecting same-sex marriage. Those countries usually have common problems like war or natural disasters that put the law on the back burner. In other countries, religious dogma often gets in the way of legalizing same-sex marriage. 

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act to prevent privacy issues connected to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case from ending legalized same-sex marriage. The goal of the Respect for Marriage Act is to protect all marriages at the federal level. Over 250 representatives voted for the Act, but more than 150 Republican representatives voted against it. 

Unfortunately, the United States Congress has not passed the Act to get it to the President’s desk to sign into law. When the Dobbs decision happened, some justices hinted toward repealing the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage. The conservative court has made several choices that have taken away rights rather than expanded them, and the fear is the next group to lose rights will be the LGBTQ community.

In order to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and make it law, sixty senators need to vote for it. The United States Senate has 100 members and is split evenly down party lines. Senate Democrats will vote to codify same-sex marriage at the federal level, but that isn’t enough. The Act needs ten Republicans to vote for it, and those numbers don’t exist. 

The Canary in the Coal Mine

As people around the world monitor human rights, restrictions on LGBTQ rights tend to be a sign that more restrictions are coming. Countries with marriage equality laws are often considered free countries, while those that don’t have other human rights violations. 

More than half of European countries have marriage equality laws with the longest-lasting law in the Netherlands. Italy does not have legalized same-sex marriage, but it does allow same-sex couples to live in a civil union. Eastern European countries and Russia do not support same-sex marriage. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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