Gay and lesbian couples can legally
marry in ten countries on three continents.
But Human Rights Watch said in a report
released on Monday that the legalization of gay marriage alone hasn't
ended the discrimination gay people face in everyday life.
“The fact that same-sex marriage has
been legalized on three continents demonstrates progress in
equality,” said Boris O. Dittrich, acting director of the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Rights Program at Human Rights
Watch. “However, while the right to same-sex marriage may be
viewed as the last step in ending discrimination on grounds of sexual
orientation, legalization does not end discrimination, either by
officials or other people.”
Ten counties have legalized gay
marriage in the past decade, starting with the Netherlands in 2001.
The countries that followed are Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa,
Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina.
Two self-governing cities – the
District of Columbia and Mexico City – legalized gay marriage last
year. Five states in the U.S. also offer the institution.
Dittrich added: “The trend to
legalize same-sex marriage is unstoppable.”