Recognition of same-sex unions in Oceania

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  Marriage performed
  Civil unions performed (Easter Island)
  Recognition of same-sex marriages at the federal level, no territory-level recognition (American Samoa)
  No recognition
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples (Palau)
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal, but ban not enforced
(Country names will appear with mouse-overs when map is viewed at full size. Encircling lines are the EEZ of each state.)
Legal status of same-sex unions

* Not yet in effect, but automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal

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Debate has occurred throughout Oceania over proposals to legalize same-sex marriage as well as civil unions.

Currently two countries and eight territories in Oceania recognize some type of same-sex unions. Two Oceanian countries, Australia and New Zealand[nb 1], and seven territories, namely French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, New Caledonia, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Pitcairn Islands and Wallis and Futuna allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Additionally, as a territory of Chile, Easter Island performs civil unions.

Current situation[edit]

National level[edit]

Status Country Legal since Country population
(Last Census count)
(2 countries)
Australia Australia 2017[1] 24,754,000
New Zealand New Zealand 2013[2] 4,840,750
Total 25,749,765
(77.5% of the Oceanian population)
No recognition
(11 countries)
* same-sex sexual activity illegal
Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 135,869
Fiji Fiji 856,346
Kiribati Kiribati * 96,335
Marshall Islands Marshall Islands 73,630
Nauru Nauru 12,329
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea * 5,172,033
Samoa Samoa * 179,000
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands * 494,786
Tonga Tonga * 106,137
Tuvalu Tuvalu * 11,146
Vanuatu Vanuatu 240,000
Subtotal 7,377,611
(22.4% of the Oceanian population)
Constitutional ban on marriage
( 1 country)
Palau Palau 2008[3][4] 19,409
Subtotal 19,409
(0.1% of the Oceanian population)
Total 7,397,020
(22.5% of the Oceanian population)

Sub-national level[edit]

Status Country Jurisdiction Legal since
(7 jurisdictions)
France France
  • New Caledonia New Caledonia
  • French Polynesia French Polynesia
  • Wallis and Futuna Wallis and Futuna
United Kingdom United Kingdom 2015[6]
United States United States Varies
Other type of partnership
† Country subject to IACHR ruling on same-sex marriage
(1 jurisdiction)
Chile Chile † 2015
Limited federal recognition only
(1 jurisdiction)
United States United States
No recognition
(3 jurisdictions)
* same-sex sexual activity illegal
New Zealand New Zealand

Public Opinion[edit]

  Indicates the country/territory has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide
  Indicates that same-sex marriage is legal in certain parts of the country
  Indicates that the country has civil unions or registered partnerships
  Indicates that same-sex sexual activity is illegal
Opinion polls for same-sex marriage by country
Country Pollster Year For Against Neutral[a] Margin
of error
 Australia Essential 2018 65% 26% 9% - [13]
 New Zealand ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll 2012 63% 31% 5% - [14]
Opinion polls for same-sex marriage by dependent territory and sub-national entities
Country Pollster Year For Against Neutral[a] Margin
of error
 Guam University of Guam 2015 55% 29% 16% - [15]


  1. ^ a b Also comprises: Don't know; No answer; Other; Refused.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Excluding Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands.


  1. ^ Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017
  2. ^ Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013
  3. ^ Constitutional proposal 2-274: Marriages between men and women only Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The Rights and Liberties of the Palau Constitution by Kevin Bennardo
  5. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) LOI n° 2013-404 du 17 mai 2013 ouvrant le mariage aux couples de personnes de même sexe
  6. ^ Same Sex Marriage and Civil Partnership Ordinance 2015
  7. ^ Chief Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood, District Court of Guam, Order and Opinion Re: Motion for Summary Judgement, Aguero v. Calvo Case 1:15-cv-00009, 8 June 2015
  8. ^ Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013
  9. ^ De La Torre, Ferdie (30 June 2015). "AG says they will be working with Inos admin in drafting regs". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  10. ^ Gonzales-Pagan, Omar. "No Same-Sex Couple Left Behind: SCOTUS Ruling for the Freedom to Marry Would Apply with Equal Force to U.S. Territories". Lambda Legal. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  11. ^ "American Samoa is lone US territory questioning gay marriage validity; no licenses sought". U.S. News and World Report. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Same-sex marriage: American Samoa may be the only territory in the US where the historic Supreme Court ruling does not apply". The Independent. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  13. ^ "The Essential Report: 13 March 2018" (PDF). Essential Research. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Views on whether same-sex couples should be able to marry" (PDF). Colmar Brunton. May 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  15. ^ UOG Poll: 55% Support Gay Marriage, Pacific News Center, April 22, 2015