No, These Countries Actually DON'T Have Same-Sex Marriage
Many of the places we think of as LGBT-friendly still have a ways to go when it comes to full equality.
Take Germany: It has the largest LGBT population in Europe, and enacted anti-discrimination laws back in 2006. But the Bundestag only passed marriage equality in June 2017.
Here are seven more otherwise progressive countries where marriage equality is still not the law of the land.
Cities like Rome and Milan have a healthy gay scene, but thanks to the still-potent influence of the Catholic Church, same-sex marriage is still a no-go.
In 2016, Italy passed a civil-union law, but its not on par with full marriage, especially when it comes to adoption.
"There’s still a strong view that there’s only one way to create a family—the old-fashioned, procreative way, by a committed opposite-sex couple in a marital relationship," wrote legal expert John Culhane in Slate. "Adoptions by opposite-sex couples are a concession to reality, but the visible defiance of the marriage/procreation norm manifest in same-sex adoption is apparently a bridge too far. The new law doesn’t even allow a nonbiological partner in a civil union to adopt her partner’s child."
Japan has a vibrant LGBT community, and its annual Tokyo Rainbow Parade draws thousands of participants. But lingering cultural and societal taboos surrounding homosexuality have stalled the country from offering legal protections for its queer community—let alone marriage equality.
Things seem to be looking up, though: Japan has a handful of openly gay and trans elected officials, and as of 2015, lawmakers have banned gay conversion therapy.
Israel is the most gay-friendly country in the Middle East, with Tel Aviv's massive Pride celebration and anti-discrimination laws in employment, education and public services.
LGBT people can serve openly in the military—one of Israel's top army officials is gay—and the government spent nearly $3 million to promote LGBT equality. .
But the country's powerful religious Jewish minority has blocked efforts at marriage equality,even though 79% of Israelis support it. Same-sex couples can only register for civil unions, which grant limited benefits, if they both claim to not belong to any recognized religion.
Despite Mexico's many gay-friendly vacation spots, the fight for marriage equality continues to face setbacks.
Same-sex marriage is legal in some Mexican states and municipalities, but not across the land: A a federal marriage-equality bill was shot down by Mexico's congress in 2016 , following months of heated anti-LGBT protests around the country.
Mykonos may be a gay travel oasis but gay Greeks are still thirsty for marriage equality, thanks to the influence of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Civil unions were only enacted in 2015 and surveys show that a little more than half of all Greeks support same-sex marriage.
In 2008, the mayor of Tilos married two same-sex couples, citing a legal loophole that marriage laws didn't technically reference gender. Following outcry from the church, a motion was filed to annul the marriages. The couples have continued to appeal the case—they now await a decision from the European Court of Human Rights.
Like much of the U.K., Northern Ireland has a vocal and proud LGBT population (and relatively queer-friendly policies.) But it only offers civil unions for same-sex couples—a policy that separates the nation from England, Scotland, and Wales, all of which have equal marriage laws.
In November 2015, the Northern Irish Assembly held a vote on a marriage equality bill. The bill actually won the popular vote, but the nation's unique legal system meant that the bill was shot down by a "petition of concern" and ultimately unsuccessful.
Super-conservative officials from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have a stronghold on its political arena. Advocates say DUP's anti-gay sentiment has stalled and will continue to stall any forward motion for a future equal marriage bill.
Switzerland is widely considered one of the most socially progressive nations in the world, but despite a long history of LGBT-friendliness, it still doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.
Civil unions were enacted in 2007, but gay couples still can't legally adopt children together and remain beholden to separate rules when it comes to taxes and social-security benefits.