Now that same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, it's tempting to shut the book on LGBT rights and say they've been achieved. Despite recent progress, though, the fight is far from over, and nothing illustrates this better than this recent map showing where gay marriage is legal around the world created by Statista in conjuction with The Independent's i100 blog. Of course, marriage equality is hardly the be-all and end-all of LGBT rights; in fact, some in the community feel that its publicity eclipses equally pressing matters, such as violence against trans individuals and bisexual visibility. That being said, the topic is undoubtedly indicative of larger attitudes toward LGBT rights in a country — after all, discussing marriage equality at all requires a certain amount of acceptance of same-sex couples in the first place.
Using data from the Pew Research Center regarding marriage laws around the world, Statista put together a map showing which countries allow same-sex couples to marry — and as an LGBT person myself, the infographic elicits a combination of pride and sadness. It's no surprise to see that countries like the Canada and the UK, where the LGBT community is at an all-time height of visibility and acceptance, have passed same-sex marriage laws. However, the map is also an illustration that even countries you don't immediately associate with LGBT equality have made progress: South Africa, parts of Mexico, and Uruguay all allow marriage equality.
On the other hand, the reverse is also true. Most notably, Australia is a gigantic blank spot — despite years of activism, same-sex marriage is still illegal in the Land Down Under. What the hell, Australia?
The map is also a sobering reminder that LGBT rights have so far to go around the world. As The Independent points out, the act of homosexuality is still illegal in 75 countries, including Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Considering how difficult life can be as an LGBT person even in places where your sexual orientation isn't considered grounds for murder, living as an LGBT individual in these countries takes an unimaginable amount of courage. As nice as it would be to call it a day now that the United States has passed marriage equality, there's still so much work to be done.
Check out the infographic below: