Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
(CNN) Supporters of gay rights are still celebrating a federal judge's ruling last week in California that struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The decision was a major victory in a case that both sides say is sure to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court and could result in a landmark decision on whether people everywhere in the United States should be allowed to marry people of the same-sex.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, while civil unions are permitted in New Jersey.
Last week, Mexico's Supreme Court, on an 8-2 vote, upheld the constitutionality of a Mexico City law that took effect in March.
Worldwide, 10 countries have legalized same-sex marriage - most recently Argentina at the end of July.
Many other countries have approved civil unions and registered partnerships and still others are debating a legal status for gay people.
Supporters of gay marriage believe it is a universal human rights issue and gay and lesbian couples should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Some opponents argue that the institution of marriage is a religious one and, as such, should exclude same-sex partnerships.
Other opponents argue against gay marriage on the basis of tradition or concerns about parenting.
Despite the growing number of countries, predominantly in the west, that allow same-sex marriage or recognize civil unions, homosexual behavior is still illegal in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.
As the debate heats up around the world, we want to hear from you.
CNN International will be bringing you a special program dedicated to the issue on Thursday, August 12 at 2000 GMT on Connect the World.