Since 2001 it has been possible in the Netherlands for two men or two women to marry. There are certain differences, however, between same-sex marriage and marriage between a man and a woman.
The first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage
In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to create the possibility for two men or two women to marry. Since then, over 15,000 gay couples have married. Today, same-sex marriage is possible in nine other countries besides the Netherlands.
International status of same-sex marriage
The Netherlands has led the way in terms of opening up marriage for same-sex couples. Nowadays several other countries in Europe (such as Spain and Belgium) have also provided for gay marriage, but same-sex couples should always bear in mind that their marriage and its consequences will not be accepted in every country.