Sunday, February 1, 2009

Norway & Gay Marriage

This hasn't received much press time (if any), but on January 1st of this year same-sex marriage became "legal" (I hate it phrased that way) in Norway. I'm proud both as a gay male and as a Norwegian. This is another step in the right direction for the GLBT community as a whole. Norway is also the 6th (and most recent) nation to "legalize" same-sex marriages. The other five are: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and Nepal. An article in PinkNews (originally published June 11, 2008) had the following:

The new law, which passed by 84 votes to 41, will make marriage gender neutral.

The Scandinavian country already allows gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups had long complained the law does not go far enough.

In 2004 a similar law, which proposed to abolish the system of civil partnerships and replace it with one single gender neutral marriage law for all citizens, was rejected by the Norwegian parliament.

The new legislation will replace a 1993 law that gives gays the right to enter civil unions similar to marriage, but refuses them the right to church weddings or to be considered as adoptive parents.

As well as more equal partnership rights, it would expand the provision of parenting rights.

On a similar note, today marks the first day of Iceland having a lesbian Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. She was chosen as Prime Minister by her party, the Social Democratic Alliance. Prior to her acceptance of the position, she was the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security.

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