New Zealand Gay Marriage
Richard Rawstorn (L) with Richard Andrew in New Zealand walk down the isle after getting married during the country's first same sex marriage in August 2013.Marty Melville—AFP/Getty Images
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Newlyweds Dufa Drofn Asbjornsdottir and Diana Dogg Hreinsdottir pose for a wedding photographer in Reykjavik
Richard Rawstorn (L) with Richard Andrew in New Zealand walk down the isle after getting married during the country's fi

Marty Melville—AFP/Getty Images
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The 26 Countries That Have Legalized Same-Sex Marriage — And Photos of the Celebrations

Australia’s Federal Parliament voted in a landslide to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday. Only four members of 150-seat parliament opposed the change after a public vote in November showed overwhelming support for marriage equality.

This makes Australia the 26th nation in the world that allows same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research Center.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in December 2000.

The 2015 Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal in the U.S. after a sweeping change in public opinion on the issue. As of 2001, 57% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. But the tides have turned in a big way: Today, 62% support it, according to Pew Research.

However, the Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that considers the legal relationship between gay rights and religious freedom. The justices are divided over whether a baker discriminated against a gay couple when he refused to create their wedding cake in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The ruling could have wide-ranging implications for anti-discrimination laws, for the LGBT community and other minorities in the U.S.

Still, a growing number of governments around the world are considering marriage equality. Australia joins Germany and Malta as countries that have legalized same-sex unions in 2017.

Couples in Australia have to give 28 days’ notice before marrying, so the first same-sex ceremonies won't take place until January 2018. One parliamentarian wasted no time.

Tom Wilson asked his partner, Ryan Bolger, to marry him during a speech in Parliament on Monday. The House of Representatives said it was the first time that a politician has proposed from the floor of the governing body. Bolger said yes.

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