Same-sex marriage is wedding between two persons of the same biological sex and/or gender identity. Legal acknowledgment of same-sex marriage or the possibility to perform a same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage equality or equal marriage, mainly by supporters.
The first laws in modern times allowing same-sex marriage was passed during the first decade of the 21st century. As of 19 August 2013, 15 countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland), France, Iceland, Netherlands (Aruba, Curacao and St Marten), New Zealand (including Ross Dependency, but excluding Tokelau, Niue, and the Cook Islands), Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay), and several sub-national authorities (parts of Mexico and the United States), allow same-sex pairs to marry.
A law has been passed by the United Kingdom, effective in England and Wales, which is anticipated to be fully in force in 2014. Polls in diverse countries show that there is growing support for lawfully identifying same-sex marriage across race, ethnicity, age, religion, political affiliation, and socioeconomic class.