More than one billion people worldwide now live in a region where gay couples can marry.
Australian LGBT activist Tony Pitman noted that this milestone was passed earlier this week when several Mexican legalised gay marriage. Although it is not yet legal throughout the Central American nation, same sex couples now have equality in Mexico City, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Jalisco and seven other states. However Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto wants to legalise it across the country despite opposition from religious institutions.
These states follow the lead of Columbia, whose High Court ruled in favour of marriage equality in April.
As the world’s population is around 7.3 billion, a little less than 14 per cent of the world’s population now live in places with gay marriage. The United States became the largest nation to allow such marriages, with a population of around 328 million, when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of legalisation last year. The next largest country is Brazil, which has a population of around 206 million.
The first country to allow same sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001, which means “we’ve gone from zero to a billion in just 15 years”, Pitman said. This represents “an extraordinary rate of social progress” and “an historic shift on a truly global scale”.
However, Pitman’s home country still does not allow gay couples to marry even though the Australian Prime Minister has promised a referendum on the issue. Pitman said this was “terribly disappointing” as “Australians will never be able to say that we were among the first billion people in the world to achieve marriage equality”. This failure represented “an indictment of our spineless, dithering politicians”, he claimed.