On Feb. 12, the French National Assembly is expected to pass a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. Although the bill still needs to win the approval of the French Senate and be signed by the president, it is expected to become law as soon as May 2013. This would make France the 12th country in the world that allows gays and lesbians to legally wed. The United Kingdom may soon follow. On Feb. 5, the British House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favor of a same-sex marriage measure. Another vote in the House of Commons and a vote in the House of Lords are still to come, but the bill is expected to pass and become law in summer 2013.
As the votes in France and Britain indicate, the idea of marriage is changing, at least in the West. Indeed, most of the countries that currently allow gays and lesbians to wed are in Europe and the Americas. In two other countries, the United States and Mexico, some jurisdictions have allowed gays and lesbians to wed, while others have not.
Read the full report, "Gay Marriage Around the World," on the Pew Forum on Relgion & Public Life website.