The Status of Same-Sex Marriage World-Wide

The Status of Same-Sex Marriage World-Wide

Here at United Families International we do our best to keep you up-to-date on policy issues around the world that affect the family. Here is a quick round-up of current developments in same-sex marriage and civil unions around the world.

Argentina: Argentina’s Supreme Court is currently waiting to rule on a case that would essentially legalize same-sex marriage in the country.

Back on November 16, a city judge ruled that the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitution and approved the marriage of a same-sex couple. On December 1, a national judge overthrew the initial ruling and stopped the scheduled marriage.

The couple is now suing and the Supreme Court is set to rule on the case. If the court upholds the initial ruling, Argentina will be the first South American country to allow same-sex marriage.

Slovenia: Slovenia is currently considering amendments to a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage and adoption in the country. The bill comes in the form of a new Family Code that is essentially gender neutral on issues relating to marriage and the family.

The government is scheduled to vote on the bill in April 2010. If passed, the bill would come into effect 1 May 2011, making Slovenia the first Central European and former Communist country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Ireland: The Irish Parliament began debate last week on a bill that would recognize same-sex civil unions. The legislation, The Civil Partnership Bill 2009, would grant same-sex couples rights similar to that of married couples in the areas of domestic violence, residential tenancies, succession, refugee law, pensions, medical care, access to state benefits and immigration.

The ruling party, Fianna Fail, is seeking a “freedom of conscience” amendment that would allow businesses and service providers, such as wedding photographers, to deny services to same-sex couples, but the amendment is unlikely to pass. The bill itself, however, is nearly guaranteed to pass as it faces very little opposition.

Mexico City: Last month, lawmaker David Razu introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City. The bill comes two years after the city approved same-sex civil unions. The bill, if passed, would provide same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in regard to social security and other benefits.

There is currently no date set for a vote on the measure, but the battle is likely to be heated. Mexican politics are still highly influenced by the pro-family Roman Catholic Church, while the socially liberal Democratic Revolutionary Party, which recently legalized abortion and same-sex civil unions, currently dominates the legislature.

Where same-sex marriages and civil unions are currently recognized:

Same-Sex Civil Unions: Uruguay, Buenos Aires and four other Argentine cities, Mexico City and the Mexico state of Coahuila, Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxemborg, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Australian Capital Territory and U.S. States Maine, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and New Jersey.

Recognize Same-Sex Marriage: Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Canada, and U.S. States Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire come January.

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