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AbstractThis article examines the global diffusion of same-sex marriage (SSM) debates highlighting the diversity of countries where SSM is currently under discussion. This increasing diversity challenges most explanations originally put forward in the literature that have focused on socio-demographic changes relating to marriage, the couple, the family and intimacy, secularization and a decline of homophobia, as well as the influence of social movements. The impact of the burgeoning global politics of SSM appears even more crucial for the development of SSM debates than they were at the time of civil partnership. The argument put forward is fundamentally about time and space: the increasing geographical diversity of countries where SSM has entered the domestic discourse combined with the accelerating pace of its diffusion. Moreover, the pronounced legal nature of SSM claims, which partly results from the transnational activism of a few committed legal experts, also contributed to its global diffusion. Its predominance as the only valid device to achieve legal equality for same-sex couples has profoundly changed the type of contexts in which such debates can emerge.