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Data InsightsMore countries have legalized same-sex marriage, but others have explicitly banned it
June 28, 2024Bastian Herre

More countries have legalized same-sex marriage, but others have explicitly banned it

Stacked area chart showing that the number of countries that partially or fully ban marriage for same-sex partners has increased to more than 30 in recent decades, while the number of countries that have partially or fully legalized it has similarly increased.

While some countries have granted more rights to LGBT+ people, others are moving in the opposite direction.

The chart, based on data from researcher Kristopher Velasco, shows that five countries had an explicit ban on same-sex marriage in 1991. Their laws did not just say nothing about same-sex marriage; they had laws that made it explicitly illegal.

By 2019, this number had increased to 37 countries, concentrated in Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

These marriage bans have happened while a similar number of countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

In this way, LGBT+ rights have become more polarized: some countries have introduced progressive laws, while others have become more regressive.

Read more in our new article on LGBT+ rights