Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries around the world, including Afghanistan, India, Iran, and many countries in Africa. Homosexuality was illegal in the Soviet Union, but several countries formerly part of the Soviet Union have legalized same-sex civil unions or gay marriage. No European country has laws against homosexuality, but not all countries have laws preventing discrimination against gay and lesbian people.
Australia passed the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill in 2004, amending the Marriage Act of 1961 so that it specifically stated marriage was for one man and one woman only. A similar law was proposed by the Republican party in the US in 2006, but it wasn't passed.
The religious and moral beliefs of a country tend to inform that country's stand on gay marriage. Although many religions allow gay members, very few will conduct gay marriage ceremonies. Anti-discrimination laws further complicate the matter, as a government's failure to allow gay marriage is not considered discrimination in most courts.
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