Barbra Streisand's Second TV Special, "Color Me Barbra", Airs (March 30, 1966)
Harvey Milk School Opens, 1st High School for LGBT Students (April 1, 1985)

The Netherlands Becomes 1st Nation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (April 1, 2001)

Netherlands It was no April Fool's joke.  On April 1, 2001 the Netherlands became the first nation to legalize gay unions.  Since then thirteen other countries have followed suit.  These nations, nine of which are in Europe (the most recent being France), comprise 4% of the world's population.  The largest are France (65 million); South Africa (50 million); Spain (47 million); and Argentina (41 million).  Additionally, Mexico City and twelve U.S. states (and Washington, D.C.) have made same-sex marriage legal.  (These states have a combined population of 56 million.)


Samesexmarriage_weddingrings So what are the prospects in the U.S.?  For some perspective let's examine the end of the military's noxious "don't ask, don't tell" policy.  By the time the U.S. finally did away with it, at the end of 2011, forty nations had already opened their armed forces to gay/lesbian soldiers.  With that in mind, since only thirteen countries presently allow same-sex marriage, it may be a while before we see it enacted here on the federal level.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over two cases regarding same-sex marriage in March 2013, so the landscape may change significantly very soon.


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