Gay Marriage in Argentina, But Homosexuality Still Illegal in Much of the World

In reaction to news that Argentina legalized gay marriage, the excellent Nate Silver posts this chart showing that the number of people living in jurisdictions that approve gay marriage has steadily risen over the past ten years.

According to the chart, the number of people living in jurisdictions which recognize same sex marriage has now risen to about 250 million people worldwide. That steady, upward trajectory is certainly a sign of progressing attitudes. But it is also important to keep in mind that there are at least 78 countries or territories in which homosexuality is illegal,  6 countries in which it is punishable by death (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan).  Check out this map, via Wikipedia. The red-to-orange countries are where homosexuality is illegal in some form or another:

Back of the envelope calculations suggest that about 20% of the word’s population lives in places where homosexuality is still illegal. So while we ought to celebrate progress (go Argentina!) there is also a lot more to be done to protect the rights of LGBT individuals around the world.  One way of moving forward is for more countries to sign onto a General Assmebly resolution on the decriminalization of homosexuality.