Gay marriage is still illegal in much of the United States, where President Obama this week made public his support for allowing same-sex couples to wed.
It also remains rare around the world, as the above map from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Assn. shows. (Double-click on the map to see a larger image.) Rather than the right to nuptials, gay people face years in prison in much of Africa and the Middle East.
To read more about what it's like to be gay in nations ranging from Ireland to South Africa, delve into some of our most compelling past stories about gay rights around the world:
— Emily Alpert in Los Angeles
Image: World map of lesbian and gay rights around the world, including marriage rights. Credit: The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Assn.