by Thomas Adamson, Associated Press
PARIS (AP)—France is unveiling a draft law this week that could see marriage and adoption legalized for homosexual couples.
If the law is passed, France would become the 12th country in the world to allow gay marriage. It would also become the world’s biggest country, both in terms of population and economy, to permit it.
Since 2001, 11 countries have legalized same-sex marriage. They are: Denmark (2012), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), Sweden (2009), Norway (2008), South Africa (2006), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), Belgium (2003) and the Netherlands (2001).
Some jurisdictions inside countries also allow gay marriages.
In the United States, six states have legalized it: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, in addition to the District of Columbia and two Native American tribal jurisdictions.
In 1996, under President Bill Clinton, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed to prevent the federal government from recognizing gay marriage, allowing each U.S. state to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Support for gay marriage has grown considerably in the U.S. since the start of the 21st century.
Mexico City also recognizes gay marriage, although Mexico as a whole doesn’t.
Adoption for gay couples is more widespread, being allowed in 13 countries including in Brazil and the United Kingdom. France would become the 14th country where gay couples can adopt.