As we celebrate/mourn Valentine’s Day (delete as appropriate!), just spare a thought for the millions of LGBT+ people around the world for whom even sending an anonymous card is fraught with danger. Perhaps this Valentine’s Day some of us may even plan to pop the question to the object of our affections. Sadly, this option is not open to same-sex couples in vast swathes of the continent. At the end of last year, marriage equality (same-sex marriage) was legally recognised in just 25 nations, namely Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain, the United States and Uruguay. Even within these countries, couples may still lose their jobs under religious exemption laws, if they marry a same-sex partner. The Washington Post reported a case just this week of a popular primary school teacher sacked from her job in a Miami elementary school for marrying her girlfriend.
The library stocks a number of titles, as well as many online journal articles, that trace the history of marriage equality around the world. Gráinne Healy charts the ups and downs of the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland in Ireland Says Yes, while Stephen Cretney documents the seismic change in attitudes towards homosexuality in Western society since the 1960s in Same Sex Relationships: from ‘Odious Crime’ to ‘Gay Marriage’