The Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation reported that lawmakers in the semi-autonomous country within Denmark on Tuesday unanimously approved a same-sex marriage bill by a 27-0 vote margin. Danish media reports indicate the vote capped off a campaign to extend nuptials to gays and lesbians on the world’s largest island that began in 2010.
The law will take effect on Oct. 1.
“It was a massive day yesterday,” Justus Hansen, a spokesperson for Demokraterne, a political party that first proposed Greenland’s same-sex marriage bill, told the Copenhagen Post, a Danish newspaper, on Wednesday. “Being gay is not something they’ve chosen for themselves, and it’s an acceptance we need here in Greenland and in the rest of the world.”
Gay U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford on his social media pages described the passage of the same-sex marriage bill as “fantastic news.”
Denmark in 1989 became the first country to legally recognize gay and lesbian relationships, but it did not extend full marriage rights to same-sex couples until 2012.
Gays and lesbians are also able to legally marry in Canada, 37 U.S. states and D.C., Mexico City and a handful of other Mexican states, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Wales, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and New Zealand.
A referendum on whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Ireland passed on May 22 by a 62-38 percent margin.