Argentina is the most recent country to pass legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt.

This means NSW and Australia are falling behind a growing international trend to allow same-sex adoption and marriage.

Argentina is the first Latin American country and third country overall this year to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Netherlands was first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2000. Since 2000, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, and Iceland have made same-sex marriage legal.

Five US states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire) and the District of Columbia, as well as Mexico City, also perform same-sex marriages. The very recent dissolution of Proposition 8 in California adds another US state to the movement towards marriage equality.

Fifteen countries permit same-sex couples to adopt. The Netherlands was again the first in 2001, followed by South Africa, Sweden, Andorra, England, Wales, Belgium, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Denmark.

Nine provinces and territories in Canada, 12 US states, as well as Mexico City, allow same-sex adoption. In Australia, same-sex couples have been eligible to adopt in Western Australia since 2002 and in the ACT since 2004.

The GLRL notes that not only is the tally for countries who recognise same-sex couple adoption and marriage steadily growing, but also many of the countries that allow same-sex couple adoption also allow same-sex marriage.

Australia does not allow same-sex couples to marry and same-sex couples are not eligible to adopt in NSW. However, Clover Moore’s Adoption Amendment (Same-Sex Couples) Bill will face a conscience vote in early September.

If passed, the Bill will allow same-sex couples to apply to adopt in NSW by removing the last piece of legislation that directly discriminates against same-sex couples in NSW.

The GLRL hopes this growing domestic and international trend will persuade Australian state, territory and federal governments to introduce further legislation recognising the importance of same-sex relationships and families.

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