The Netherlands introduced gay civil unions in 1998, but it was only ten years ago this
month that it passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
Boris O. Dittrich, the advocacy director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch was the first openly gay member of parliament in the Netherlands (1994-2006), and was the initial sponsor of that legislation. He writes in the Los Angeles Times:
[…] the bill paved the way for nine more countries (Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Portugal and Iceland), one city (Mexico City), the District of Columbia in the U.S., and several U.S. states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire and, briefly, California) to allow gays to marry. In Slovenia, Nepal and Australia, same-sex marriage is now on the political agenda.
Read his entire article here.