Timeline of same-sex marriage
|Legal recognition of
|† Not yet in effect|
|Part of a series on|
|Lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT)
This page contains a timeline of significant events regarding same-sex marriage and legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide. It begins with the history of same-sex unions during ancient times, which consisted of unions ranging from informal and temporary relationships to highly ritualized unions, and continues to modern-day state-recognized same-sex marriage. Events concerning same-sex marriages becoming legal in a country or in a country's state are listed in bold.
Ancient times 
Cicero mentions the marriage (using the Latin verb for "to marry", i.e. nubere) of the son of Curio the Elder, but he does it in a metaphorical form to criticize his enemy Antonius. Cicero states thus that the younger Curio was "united in a stable and permanent marriage" to Antonius. Martial also mentions a number of same-sex marriages, but always in derisory terms against people whom he wants to mock at.
Same-sex marital practices and rituals were more recognized in Mesopotamia than in ancient Egypt. In the ancient Assyrian society, there was nothing amiss with homosexual love between men. The Almanac of Incantations contained prayers favoring on an equal basis the love of a man for a woman and of a man for man.
At least two of the Roman Emperors were in same-sex unions; and in fact, thirteen out of the first fourteen Roman Emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual. The first Roman emperor to have married a man was Nero, who is reported to have married two other men on different occasions. First with one of his freedman, Pythagoras, to whom Nero took the role of the bride, and later as a groom Nero married a young boy, who resembled one of his concubines, named Sporus.
Adolescent emperor Elagabalus referred to his chariot driver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles, as his husband. He also married an athlete named Zoticus in a lavish public ceremony in Rome amidst the rejoicings of the citizens.
These same-sex marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans. This law prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed.
In the Middle Ages, a same-sex marriage between the two men Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz in the Galician municipality of Rairiz de Veiga in Spain occurred on 16 April 1061. They were married by a priest at a small chapel. The historic documents about the church wedding were found at Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova.
In ancient India same-sex marriage was more common. One example being a Princess named Shikhandi (born Shikhandini) who was married off to another princess by her father King Drupada. According to traditions in South India, Krishna married Iravan to fulfill one of his three last wishes.
The Siwa Oasis in Egypt had an historical acceptance of male homosexuality and even rituals of same-sex marriage — traditions that Egyptian authorities have sought to repress, with increasing success, since the early 20th century. The German egyptologist George Steindorff explored the oasis in the year 1900 and reported that homosexual relations were common and often extended to a form of marriage
- October 15: The Supreme Court of the US state of Minnesota upholds the decision of a lower court that denying a marriage license to a same-sex couple did not violate the U.S. Constitution." This was in reference to a marriage application filed by activist Jack Baker and Michael McConnell in 1970, which garnered extensive media attention. An appeal of that decision ended when the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the case as required by a law in effect but then dismissed it "for want of a substantial federal question". (see Baker v. Nelson). Until 1973, there was no restriction on gender in any marriage statute in any state within the U.S.
- January 1: Maryland becomes the first state in the US to statutorily ban same-sex marriage. In the following two decades, other states joined Maryland in statutorily banning same-sex marriage, reaching almost the totality of US states by 1994.
May 20: Singer v. Hara, a lawsuit filed by John F. Singer and Paul Barwick after being refused a request for a marriage license at the King County Administration Building in Seattle, Washington on September 20, 1971, ends with a unanimous rejection by the Washington State Court of Appeals. 
- June: The Netherlands adopts an "Unregistered Cohabitation" scheme as a civil status in rent law, becoming the first country in the world where same-sex couples could apply for limited rights.
- October 1: Denmark becomes the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex unions, after passing a bill legalizing "registered partnerships" in a 71–47 vote.
- April 30: Norway approves a registered partnerships bill, becoming the second country in the world (after Denmark) to provide legal recognition for same-sex couples. It came into effect on August 1.
- May 5: The Supreme Court of the US state of Hawaii rules in Baehr v. Lewin that the Hawaii state statute limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is presumed to be unconstitutional unless the state can present a "compelling state interest" justifying the same-sex marriage ban.
- June 23: The Parliament of Sweden approves a registered partnerships bill in a 171–141 vote. It became legal on 1 January 1995.
- April 26: Greenland adopts Denmark's registered partnership law.
- June: The Parliament of Iceland legalizes registered partnerships in a 44–1 vote.
- September 21: President Bill Clinton of the United States signs the Defense of Marriage Act into law, which bans the federal Government from recognizing same-sex unions.
- July 5: The Netherlands passes a registered partnerships bill. It became law on 1 January 1998.
- November 3: Hawaii and Alaska become the first US states to pass constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage. Other US states followed suit and passed similar amendments in the following years, reaching a peak of 31 in 2012. For more information, refer to U.S. state constitutional amendments banning same-sex unions.
- January 12: Belgium approves a registered partnerships bill. It became law on 1 January 2000.
- September 22: Governor Gray Davis from the US state of California signs a domestic partnerships bill into law that provided limited rights for same-sex couples.
- November 15: The Parliament of France approves legislation (art. 515-1 et s. Code civil) that:
- creates a relationship register for both gay and straight couples (called "Pacte civil de solidarité" abbreviated as "PaCS"); and
- redefines the non-registered partnership as the stable union between two adults regardless of their gender (before this law, previous decisions of the French highest Court ruled that there could be no couple without appearance of marriage, therefore excluding gay people from any vision of family).
- December 20: The Supreme Court of the US state of Vermont holds in Baker v. Vermont that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violates the Vermont Constitution and orders the legislature to establish same-sex marriage or an equivalent status.
- April 26: Governor Howard Dean from the US state of Vermont signs a civil unions bill into law after the state's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights as opposite sex couples, thus making Vermont the first state in the U.S. to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples. It became law on July 1.
- November: Germany approves a bill to legalize "Life partnerships". It became law on 1 August 2001.
- December 21: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs into law the first same-sex marriage bill in the world. It had previously cleared the country's Senate on December 19 in a 49–26 vote and the House of Representatives on September 12 in a 109–33 vote. The law came into effect on 1 April 2001.
- January 14: Two same-sex marriages are performed in Ontario, Canada. Although registration of the marriages was initially denied, a successful court challenge upheld their legality on June 10, 2003, thus retroactively making them the first legal same-sex marriages in modern times.
- April 1: Laws that permit marriage for same-sex couples and grant same-sex couples adoption rights in the Netherlands come into effect. Four same-sex couples are married at the stroke of midnight by the Mayor of Amsterdam.
- September 28: The Parliament of Finland approves a Registered Partnerships bill in a 99–84 vote. The law came into effect on 1 March 2002.
- February 13: King Albert II of Belgium signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law, making Belgium the second country in the world to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples, after the Netherlands. The bill previously passed the Chamber of Representatives in a 91–22 vote on January 30, 2003 and the Senate in a 46–15 vote on December 13, 2002. It came into effect on June 1.
- May 1: The British Columbia Court of Appeal becomes the first provincial court of appeal to rule that the Canadian government must legally recognize same-sex marriage.
- June 10: A court of appeals in Canada legalizes same-sex marriage in the province Ontario, ruling that restricting marriage to heterosexual couples contravened the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Thus, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriages.
- September 17: A registered partnership bill receives Royal Assent in Tasmania, Australia. It was previously approved by the state Legislative Council on August 27 and by the state House of Assembly on June 25. It came into effect on 1 January 2004.
- November 18: The Supreme Court of the US state of Massachusetts orders the Legislature to open marriage to same-sex couples in the landmark Goodridge v. Department of Public Health ruling. The Court also rules that if the Legislature fails to do so in 180 days, same-sex couples will be able to marry without any impediment.
- January 12: The Legislature of the US state of New Jersey passes a registered partnerships bill. It came into effect on July 10.
- February/March: A number of jurisdictions in the U.S. begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, including San Francisco, California (February 12), Sandoval County, New Mexico (February 20), New Paltz, New York (February 27), Multnomah County, Oregon (March 3) and Asbury Park, New Jersey (March 9). The licenses were later nullified.
- April: The US state of Maine adopts a registered partnerships bill. The law came into effect on July 30.
- May 12: The Parliament of Luxembourg approves a civil partnerships bill. It came into effect on November 1.
- May 17: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the US state of Massachusetts after the Legislature failed to take any action in the 180 days period given by the state's Supreme Court. It became the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage.
- November 5: A judge in Saskatchewan, Canada, rules that same-sex couples must enjoy the right to equal marriage in that province.
- November 17: United Kingdom's parliament legalizes civil partnerships for same-sex couples. The bill received Royal Assent the next day and it took effect on 5 December 2005.
- November 30: The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa rules that the common law concept of marriage must be extended to include same-sex couples.
- December 8: The government of Israel indicates that it will recognize same-sex partnerships for certain benefits.
- December 8: The Parliament of New Zealand approves a civil unions law by a vote of 65 to 55. The bill came into effect on 26 April 2005.
- March 23: The Principality of Andorra legalizes same-sex unions.
- April 20: Governor Jodi Rell from the US State of Connecticut signs a same-sex civil unions bill into law after passing the State Senate 26 to 8 earlier that day. The bill was previously approved on April 13 by the State House of Representatives in a 85–63 vote. It came into effect on October 1.
- June 5 : A registered partnership law is approved in Switzerland by 58 percent of voters after opponents organized a ballot measure. It came into effect on 1 January 2007.
- June 22: A registered partnerships bill is approved in Slovenia giving same-sex couples limited rights. It came into effect on 23 July 2006.
- June 23: A judge in New Brunswick, Canada, rules that same-sex couples have the right to equal marriage in that province.
- June 30: The Congress of Deputies of Spain passes a same-sex marriage bill for a second time, overruling the rejection of the Spanish Senate a week before. The law took effect on July 3, after it was publicized in the official government registry. King Juan Carlos I granted the law Royal Assent the day after passage.
- July 19: The Senate of Canada legalizes same-sex marriage, making Canada the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage. It became law on July 20 after receiving Royal Assent. Eight of ten provinces and one of three territories in Canada already allowed same-sex marriage before being recognized federally.
- December 1: In the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie, the Constitutional Court of South Africa unanimously finds the restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples to be unconstitutional, giving the country's Parliament one year to introduce same-sex marriage.
- March 15: The Czech Republic's parliament passes a registered partnership law with 101 votes (out of 177) overriding President Václav Klaus, who previously vetoed the law on February 16 after it was approved by the lower and upper house on 2005. The law came into effect on July 1.
- May 18: King Albert II of Belgium signs a bill allowing adoption by same-sex couples into law after it was approved by the country's Senate on April 20 in a 34–33 vote.
- October 25: The Supreme Court of the US state of New Jersey unanimously rules in favor of marriage equality; 4–3 give the legislature six months to legalize same-sex marriage or civil unions. The three dissenting justices dissented because they believed same-sex couples should have the full right to marry.
- November 9: The Legislative Assembly of Mexico City passes a civil union law, making it the first jurisdiction in Latin America to legally recognize same-sex unions.
- November 21: Israel's supreme court rules that same-sex marriages performed abroad will be formally registered by the Israeli Interior Ministry. This ruling makes equal the status of same-sex couples and other Israeli couples who cannot be married by the formal religious institutions in Israel (e.g. couples from different religions).
- November 29: Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa signs the Civil Union Act into law, legalising same-sex marriage. The bill was passed by the National Assembly in a 229–41 vote on November 14, and 36–11 by the National Council of Provinces on November 28. The first wedding took place on December 1.
- December 7: The Parliament of Canada rejects Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s motion to re-open the equal marriage debate. The motion was defeated 175–123, and every political party had more MPs supporting same-sex marriage than in the previous vote. The prime minister declared the issue "settled".
- December 21: Governor Jon Corzine from the US state of New Jersey signs a bill legalizing civil unions into law. It took effect on 19 February 2007.
- January 12: The Mexican state of Coahuila legalizes civil unions, being the first state to do so in Mexico and the second entity (after Mexico D.F.).
- April 21: Governor Chris Gregoire from the US state of Washington signs a domestic partnerships bill into law. It came into effect on July 22.
- May 9: Governor Ted Kulongoski from the US state of Oregon signs a domestic partnerships bill into law. It came into effect on 1 February 2008.
- May 31: Governor John Lynch from the US state of New Hampshire signs a civil unions bill into law. It came into effect on 1 January 2008.
- August 30: A court of the US state of Iowa strikes down its ban on same-sex marriage as a result of a legal challenge. About 20 couples obtained marriage licenses and one couple married before the judge issued a stay of his ruling pending appeal.
- December 27: President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay signs a civil unions bill into law, becoming the first country in Latin America to approve a law giving legal recognition to same-sex couples. The bill was previously approved by the country's legislature on December 19. It came into effect on 1 January 2008.
- April 15: A bill legalizing registered relationships receives Royal Assent in Victoria, Australia. It was previously approved by the State Legislative Council on April 10 and by the State Legislative Assembly on March 12. The law came into effect on December 1.
- May 8: The Legislative Assembly of the ACT, Australia, passes a bill legalizing civil partnerships for same-sex couples. It came into effect on May 19.
- May 15: The Supreme Court of the US state of California legalizes same-sex marriage in the landmark In re Marriage Cases ruling. The ruling took effect on June 16.
- May 22: Governor Martin O'Malley of the US state of Maryland signs into law two bills legalizing domestic partnerships. They came into effect on July 1.
- May 29: Governor David Paterson from the US state of New York signs an executive order mandating state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state equally under the law. New York thus became the first US state that didn't allow same-sex marriages, but whose state agencies recognized same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
- June 17: Norway's upper house legalizes same-sex marriage in a 23–17 vote. The bill was previously approved by the lower house on June 11 in a 84–41 vote. It came into effect on 1 January 2009.
- September 28: Ecuador's new Constitution is approved by 63.9% of voters, legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples. The country's first same-sex civil union was performed performed on 12 August 2009.
- October 10: The Supreme Court of the US state of Connecticut legalizes same-sex marriage in the landmark Kerrigan and Mock v. Connecticut Department of Public Health ruling. Same-sex weddings started on November 12.
- November 4: A referendum seeking to constitutionally ban same-sex marriages in the US state of California is approved by 52.2% of voters; thus overturning same-sex marriage in California, this event being noteworthy because it has been the only time in modern history that same-sex marriage has been overturned.
- November 19: The Supreme Court of Nepal orders the government to legalize same-sex marriage.
- January 28: The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples in common-law marriages. The ruling means that civil and political rights such as nationality, residency, housing protection, and state benefits are now granted to same-sex partners.
- April 1: The Parliament of Sweden legalizes same-sex marriage in a 226–22 vote. The law came into effect on May 1.
- April 3: The Supreme Court of the US state of Iowa legalizes same-sex marriage in the landmark Varnum v. Brien ruling. Same-sex weddings started on April 27.
- April 7: The US state of Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage after a 23–5 vote in the State Senate and a 100–49 vote in the House of Representatives, overriding Governor Jim Douglas, who had vetoed the law a day earlier. The bill came into effect on September 1.
- April 20: The Parliament of Hungary legalizes registered partnerships in a 199–159 vote. The law came into effect on July 1.
- May 6: Governor John Baldacci from the US state of Maine signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved 89-58 by the House of Representatives a day earlier and 21-14 by the State Senate on April 30. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on November 3.
- May 18: Governor Chris Gregoire from the US state of Washington signs the so-called "everything-but-marriage" registered partnerships bill into law. It was passed by the State Senate on March 10 and by the House of Representatives on April 15. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on November 3.
- May 26: California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8, constitutionally banning same-sex marriage, but rules that previously officiated same-sex marriages shall remain valid.
- May 31: The Assembly of the US state of Nevada legalizes domestic partnerships by a 28–14 vote, overriding a veto from Governor Jim Gibbons after the Senate did the same on May 30 by a 14–7 vote. The law came into effect on October 1.
- June 3: Governor John Lynch from the US State of New Hampshire signs a bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law after being approved 14–10 by the State Senate and 198–176 by the House of Representatives. The law took effect on 1 January 2010.
- June 29: Governor Jim Doyle from the US state of Wisconsin signs into law a bill legalizing registered partnerships. The bill was previously approved by the State Assembly in a 50–48 vote on June 13 and by the State Senate in a 17–16 vote on June 17. The law came into effect on August 3.
- July 1: The US state of Colorado begins recognizing designated beneficiary agreements.
- July 6: The District of Columbia starts recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other US states, although same-sex marriages cannot be performed in DC itself.
- November 3: A referendum in the US state of Maine repeals an approved same-sex marriage bill before it took effect, while a referendum in the US state of Washington upholds the so-called "everything-but-marriage" registered partnerships bill, which came into effect on December 3.
- December 18: District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved by the D.C. Council on December 15. It came into effect on 3 March 2010.
- December 18: The Federal Council (upper house) of Austria's passes a bill legalizing registered partnerships in a 44–8 vote. The bill was previously passed by the National Council (lower house) on December 10 in a 110–64 vote. It came into effect on 1 January 2010.
- December 28: The first same-sex marriage in Argentina and Latin America is conducted in Ushuaia, province of Tierra del Fuego. The couple first planned to marry in Buenos Aires on December 1 after a city court ruled that it should be issued a marriage license; however, a national judge blocked the marriage from taking place in Buenos Aires. The couple successfully married in Ushuaia thanks to Governor Fabiana Ríos's intervention.
- December 29: Mexico City's Head of Government Marcelo Ebrard signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved on December 21 by the Legislative Assembly in a 39–20 vote. It took effect on 3 March 2010. Civil unions in Mexico City had been available since 2007, but full marriage was not yet recognized.
- May 17: President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making Portugal the sixth country in Europe, and eighth country overall, to legalize same-sex marriages. The country's Assembly previously approved the bill in its second reading on February 11. It took effect on June 5.
- May 19: A registered partnerships bill receives Royal Assent in New South Wales, Australia. The bill was previously approved by the state upper House in May 12 in a 32–5 vote and by the state lower House on May 11 in a 62–9 vote. The law came into effect on July 1.
- June 11: The Parliament of Iceland unanimously approves a law legalizing same-sex marriage by a vote of 49–0. The law took effect on June 27.
- June 27: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland's Prime minister, becomes the world's first head of government to enter a same-sex marriage.
- July 8: In two cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, a U.S. District Court rules that Section 3 of DOMA (a law that banned federal recognition for same-sex marriages) violates the Constitution of the United States.
- July 19: President Mary McAleese of Ireland signs into law a bill legalizing Civil Partnerships. It was previously passed by the Seanad in a 48–4 vote on July 8. The law came into effect on 1 January 2011.
- July 21: President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making Argentina the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was previously approved by the country's Senate 33-27 on July 15 and 125–109 by the Chamber of Deputies on May 5. The first marriage took place on July 30.
- August 4: U.S. District Court of Northern California declares that Proposition 8, a 2008 California-electorate ban on same-sex marriage, violates due process and equal protection clauses in the U.S. Constitution. Supporters of the proposition eventually appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- August 5: The Supreme Court of Mexico votes 8–2 to uphold the constitutionality of Mexico City's same-sex marriage law. On the following days, it also voted to mandate that all 31 states of Mexico must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions (on August 10, on a 9–2 vote) and to uphold a Mexico City law permitting same-sex couples entering into marriages to adopt children (on August 16, on a 9–2 vote).
- August 10: The Supreme Court of Costa Rica issues a 5–2 ruling to halt a referendum on same-sex civil unions which was scheduled for December 5 after stating that minority rights shouldn't be decided by the majority.
- January 10: The Court of Appeal of the province of Saskatchewan in Canada rules that marriage commissioners cannot refuse to wed same-sex couples on religious grounds.
- January 31: Governor Pat Quinn from the US state of Illinois signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 32–24 by the state Senate on December 1 and 61–52 by the state House of Representatives on November 30. It came into effect on June 1.
- February 23: Governor Neil Abercrombie from the US state of Hawaii signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 18–5 by the state Senate on February 16 and 31–19 by the state House of Representatives on February 11. It came into effect on 1 January 2012.
- March 15: The Isle of Man legalizes civil partnerships. The law came into effect on April 6.
- March 16: The Parliament of Liechtenstein passes a registered partnerships bill in a 24–0 vote. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on June 19.
- May 5: The Supreme Court of Justice of Brazil unanimously legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples.
- May 11: Governor Jack Markell from the US state of Delaware signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved 26–15 by the state Assembly on April 14 and 13–6 by the state Senate on April 7. It came into effect on 1 January 2012.
- June 19 : Voters of Liechtenstein approve a registered partnerships bill by 68.8% after opponents organized a ballot measure. The law took effect on September 1.
- June 24: Governor Andrew Cuomo from the US state of New York signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved two hours early 33–29 by the state Senate and 80–63 by the state Assembly on June 5. It came into effect on July 24.
- July 1: A civil unions bill in the US state of Rhode Island becomes effective, Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the bill on July 2, 2011 but the law was made retroactive from July 1, 2011. The bill was previously approved 21–16 by the state Senate on June 29 and by the Assembly in a 62–11 vote on May 20.
- July 12: A civil partnerships bill is unanimously approved in Jersey. It took effect on 2 April 2012.
- July 26: The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that same-sex couples have the right to form a family and orders the Congress to pass legislation addressing the issue of same-sex marriage before June 20, 2013. If such a law is not passed until then, same-sex couples will be able to apply for marriage-like rights automatically.
- August 1: Same-sex marriage is in effect legalized by the Suquamish tribe in the US state of Washington for tribe members.
- October 25: The Supreme Court of Justice of Brazil rules that two women can legally be married.
- November 28: First same-sex marriages are held in Quintana Roo, Mexico, because the state's civil code doesn't state sex or gender requirements for marriage.
- November 30: The state parliament of Queensland, Australia, passes a civil partnerships bill in a 47–40 vote. The law came into effect on 23 February 2012.
- December 7: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Alagoas ordered the civil registry of the state to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, being the first Brazilian state to enable same-sex marriages to be recognized in the same way as other marriages.
- February 7: A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules 2–1 that the ban on same-sex marriage in California is unconstitutional.
- February 13: Governor Christine Gregoire from the US state of Washington signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was priorly approved 55–43 by the state House on 8 February and 28–21 by the state Senate on 1 February. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on November 6.
- February 22: In the case of Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, another U.S. District Court rules Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.
- March 1: Governor Martin O'Malley from the US state of Maryland signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was previously approved by the Senate, 25–22, on 23 February and by the House, 72–67, on 17 February. However, opponents organized a referendum that took place on November 6.
- May 9: Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to publicly announce support for same-sex marriage.
- May 14: Governor Lincoln Chafee from the US state of Rhode Island signs an executive order to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state equally under the law.
- May 22: U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken rules Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
- May 31: U.S. First Circuit federal appeals court rules Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in the consolidated appeal of two cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
- June 7: The Parliament of Denmark legalizes same-sex marriage in a 85–24 vote, becoming the eighth country in Europe, and eleventh overall, to do it. The law came took effect on June 15. Denmark was previously the first country to legally recognize same-sex couples through registered partnerships in 1989.
- June 10: A judicial court in Uruguay declares a foreign same-sex marriage valid, making it the first legal same-sex marriage in the country. The ruling also affirmed that local laws already permit same-sex marriage, even if they don't state it literally, and that Uruguayans married overseas can go to a judge to have their marriages recognized.
- July 15: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Sergipe issued "Provimento nº 06/2012" regulating same-sex marriage throughout the State. 
- July 25: The Government of Scotland announces plans to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage by 2015.
- August 15: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo issued a Circular Letter stating that all Civil Registries of that State should address same-sex marriage the same way they would do it regarding that for opposite-sex couples. 
- October 10: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Bahia extends marriage to same-sex couples. The ruling came into effect on November 26.
- October 10: Same-sex marriage is legalized in the Caribbean Netherlands after the Dutch Parliament passed a law extending its same-sex marriage law to the region.
- October 18: In Windsor v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit strikes down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional.
- November 6: The Spanish Constitutional Court upholds the country's same-sex marriage law after the ruling People's Party filed a lawsuit arguing that it was unconstitutional. After the ruling, the Spanish Minister of Justice said that the government will accept the verdict and drop plans to change the law.
- November 6: Voters in the US states of Maine, Maryland, and Washington approve same-sex marriage laws in referendums, becoming the first US states to legalize same-sex marriage through this process, while voters in the US state of Minnesota become the first to reject a constitutional amendment seeking to ban same-sex marriage in their state. The laws of Washington, Maine and Maryland, came into effect on 6 December 2012, 29 December 2012 and 1 January 2013 respectively.
- December 1: The Court of Public Registers of the Brazilian Federal District (DF) rules that, effective immediately, same-sex marriage licenses should be granted without a judge's intervention.
- December 5: Supreme Court of Mexico unanimously finds the same-sex marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex marriages nationally. Same-sex marriage is already legal in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and in Mexico City.
- December 15: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Piauí updated its marriage provisions to include same-sex couples.
- December 18: The Justice Court of the Brazilian state of São Paulo orders that marriage licenses be granted to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages were already offered in six other Brazilian states and in the country's Federal District. The ruling came into effect on 1 March 2013.
- February 14: The Senate of the US state of Illinois approves a same-sex marriage bill by a 34–21 vote. The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives.
- March 7: The Justice Court of the Brazilian state of Ceará ruled, from March 15 on, that notaries statewide are required to perform same-sex marriages.
- March 15: The Tribal chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in the US state of Michigan signs a same-sex marriage amendment into law that had been previously approved by the Tribal Council in a 5–4 vote on March 3.
- March 21: Governor John Hickenlooper from the US state of Colorado signs a civil unions bill into law. The bill was previously approved by the House of Representatives on March 12 in a 39–26 vote and by the Senate in a 21–14 vote on February 11. It will come into effect on May 1.
- March 22: The Bundesrat of Germany passes a state-level initiative which will open marriage to same-sex couples. The bill will advance in the Bundestag where an identical bill was rejected in 2012. The legislation was proposed by 5 states of Germany.
- March 26: Same-sex marriage is regulated by the Judiciary Power of the Brazilian State of Paraná, being legal throughout the State's territory.
- April 2: Same-sex marriage is regulated by the Judiciary Power of the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul.
- April 10: The Chamber of Deputies of Uruguay legalizes same-sex marriage with 71 affirmative votes (out of 92) in its second reading, making Uruguay the second country in Latin America, after Argentina, and twelfth overall, to legalize same-sex marriage. The law was previously passed by the Senate on April 2 by a 23–8 vote. The bill was signed into law on 3 May 2013. It will come into force on 1 August 2013.
- April 14: The Constitutional Convention of Ireland, which was charged with making recommendations to the Irish Government in respect of changes to the country's Constitution, votes overwhelmingly (79%) in favour of amending the Constitution to allow for same sex marriage. The Irish Government will respond to the decision within 4 months.
- April 17: The Parliament of New Zealand legalizes same-sex marriage by a 77–44 vote in the bill's third reading, making New Zealand the first country in Oceania, and thirteenth overall, to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill received Royal Assent two days later. It will come into effect on 19 August 2013.
- April 17: The General Magistrate of Justice of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, Valmir de Oliveira Silva, authorizes local judges to perform same-sex marriages if they agree to do so. The ruling states that couples must register their request in the civil registry and then wait 15 days for the district to decide whether to perform it or not.
- April 26: The Judicial Court of the Brazilian state of Rondônia publishes in the Diário da Justiça Eletrônico a Provision (008/2013-CG) which provides for the direct qualification for marriage between same-sex couples and the conversion of stable unions into marriages throughout the State.
- April 29: The "Corregedoria Geral of Justiça" of the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina provides for the direct qualification for marriage between same-sex couples as long as both of them reside in the State's territory.
- April 29: The "Corregedoria Geral of Justiça" of the Brazilian State of Paraíba, Judge Murilo Márcio da Cunha Ramos, releases a Provision (06/2013) which enables the same-sex marriage in the state.
- May 2: Governor Lincoln Chafee from the US state of Rhode Island signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed shortly before with a final 56–15 vote in the House of Representatives  and on April 24 by the state Senate in a 26–12 vote. It will come into effect on 1 August 2013.
- May 7: Governor Jack Markell from the US state of Delaware signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed shortly before by the state Senate by a 12–9 vote and on April 23 by the House of Representatives by a 23–18 vote. It will come into effect on 1 July 2013.
- May 14: The Justice's National Council of Brazil legalizes same-sex marriage in the entire country by a 14–1 vote, making Brazil the third country in South America, after Argentina and Uruguay, and fourteenth in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The Council's ruling orders all civil register of the country to grant same-sex marriages.  The ruling was published on 15 May and took effect on 16 May 2013.
- May 14: Governor Mark Dayton from the US state of Minnesota signs a same-sex marriage bill into law. The bill was passed a day before by the state Senate by a 37–30 vote and on May 9 by the House of Representatives by a 75–59 vote. It will come into effect on 1 August 2013.
- May 18: President François Hollande of France signs a same-sex marriage bill into law, making France the fifteenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was introduced to the National Assembly by the government on 14 November 2012, who approved it by a 329–229 vote on 12 February 2013. The Bill was then sent to the Senate who approved it with amendments by a 179–157 vote on April 12. As parts of it were changed, the Bill was thus sent back to the lower house on April 17 for a final scrutiny and passed on April 23 by a 331–225 vote.. The law was validated by the Constitutional Council of France on May 17. François Hollande, President of France, signed it into law on May 18. It took effect on 19 May 2013, making France the thirteenth country to effectively implement same sex marriage.
- May 21: The House of Commons of the United Kingdom passes the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 366 votes to 161 in its third reading. The bill proceeded to the House of Lords, where it was read in the first reading.The Second reading is scheduled for June 3.
See also 
- Same-sex marriage
- Same-sex union legislation
- Status of same-sex marriage
- Timeline of LGBT history
- Timeline of same-sex marriage in the United States
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (May 2013)|
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