Sunday, January 15, 2006

I do.

This was last year's status for Same-Sex marriages or unions. It is not that bad actually considering that a few years back, very few countries accept the rights of homosexuals.
Status as of June 2005
According to a consultation paper published by the British government:
Denmark introduced the first civil partnership law for same-sex committed couples in 1989.
Two European countries, The Netherlands (since 2001) and Belgium (since 2002), allow same-sex marriage (SSM). That is, committed, same-sex couples can simply marry just as opposite-sex couples can, and thereby gain the same responsibilities, protections, rights, etc for themselves and their children.
A total of eight countries in the European Union...has provisions for legally recognizing those in committed same sex partnerships in:
Denmark: Registered partnerships since 1989.
Finland: Registered partnerships since 2001.
France: Civil Solidarity Pacts since 1999.
Germany: Partnership registration, since 2001.
Portugal: Partnership rights since 2001.
Spain: Partnership recognition in some states.
Sweden: Registered partnerships since 1994
Switzerland: Registered partnerships since 2005. On 2002-SEP-22, Zurich adults voted 63% to 37% to give same-sex couples the right to marry. This only applies only to the canton of Zurich in Switzerland.

"The rights and responsibilities attached to the different arrangements vary."

"...some states in the US and Australia and provinces in Canada have introduced a form of civil partnership registration."

United States:
California: gradually phased in certain restricted benefits for same-sex couples in 2001. They made domestic partnerships available to same-sex couples in 2005-JAN-01. These are similar to Vermont's civil unions.
Connecticut: legislature approved a civil union bill on 2005-APR-20. It was signed into law by the governor within hours. It will take effect on 2005-OCT-01.
Vermont: The state Supreme Court determined that the existing marriage laws in the state violated the state constitution. The legislature approved a system of civil unions for same-sex couples which became effective on 2000-JUL-1. The rights and privileges granted under this law are similar to those given by the state to all married couples. The over 1,000 Federal rights and obligations are denied couples who enter civil unions. The rights given to couples in civil unions are not transportable to other states in the U.S. Thus, if a civil unionized couple in Vermont steps over the state line, they are regarded simply as roommates.
Canada: The provinces of British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia had civil-union-type arrangements in place. However, they have been largely superceded by the availability of marriage.
Other countries:
Argentina: Partnership registration since 2003 in Buenos Aires city and Rio Negro province.
Australia: The country has implemented cohabitation rights since 1994 in the Capitol Territory, 1999 in New South Wales, and 2001 in Victoria.
Hungary: Registered partnerships since 1996.
Iceland: Registered partnerships since 1996.
Liechtenstein: Registered partnerships since 2002.
New Zealand:
Norway: Registered partnerships since 1993.

Subsequent legislation:

2003-JUN: Ontario, Canada: The Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses and register their marriages in the province. They obtain full provincial and federal rights.

2003-JUL: British Columbia, Canada: The British Columbia Court of Appeal had ordered implementation of same-sex marriages in the province starting in 2004-JUL-12. On 2003-JUL-08, they issued a supplementary ruling ordering the government to start issuing licenses immediately.

2004-MAR: Québec, Canada: On 2004-MAR-20, the provincial Court of Appeal upheld the Quebec Superior Court's decision to permit SSM. They became available immediately.

2004-MAY: Massachusetts: The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state constitution requires same-sex marriage, and that the state had to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Committed same-sex couples have been able to marry in the state since 2004-MAY-17. However their marriages are not recognized by the Federal government, so they do not receive any of the over 1,000 federal rights and obligations of opposite-sex marriage.

2004-JUL: Yukon, Canada: The Yukon Supreme Court ruled on 2004-JUL-14 that SSM was legal.

2004-SEP: Manitoba, Canada: On 2004-SEP-14, The Court of Queen's Bench noted that 12 or more other Canadian judges had already decided that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is a violation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- the country's constitution. The court declared the marriage act in Manitoba to be unconstitutional and ordered the definition of marriage to be immediately "reformulated to mean a voluntary union for life of two persons at the exclusion of all others."

2004-SEP: Nova Scotia, Canada: The province's Supreme Court ruled on 2004-SEP-24 that "civil marriage between two persons of the same sex is therefore lawful and valid."

2004-NOV: Saskatchewan, Canada: The Family Law Division of the Court of Queen's Bench
ruled that: "The common-law definition of marriage for civil purposes is declared to be 'the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others'."
2004-DEC: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: The Supreme Court of Newfoundland ordered the province to recognize same-sex marriages. The lawsuit was heard on DEC-19 and 20; the ruling was handed down on DEC-21.

2005-APR: New Zealand: A civil union bill came into effect on 2005-APR.

2005-JUN-23: New Brunswick, Canada: Court of Queen's Bench Justice Judy Clendenning determined that the civil definition of marriage in the province should be broadened to include same-sex couples. She gave the province ten days in which to make the necessary administrative adjustments.

2005-JUN-29, Spain: The Congress of Deputies voted 187 to 147, with four abstentions, to legalize SSM. The bill is expected to take effect by mid 2005-JUL-15.

Currently active and pending cases:

California: Assembly bill AB 19 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" would allow same-sex marriage in California. It has passed the Assembly Judiciary and Appropriation Committees, and is scheduled to be debated during the week of 2005-MAY-29.

Canada: Northwest Territories, Canada: A lawsuit has been initiated to legalize SSM.
Bill C-38 which would allow same-sex couples to marry across Canada, was passed by the House of Commons on 2005-JUN-28. It has been passed on to the Senate.

South Africa: On 2004-NOV-29, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that SSM was legal. However, the court suspended its own ruling in order to give the South African government time to modify its marriage legislation.

UK: A new civil partnership law comes into effect on 2005-DEC-05. This gives same-sex couples all of the rights of opposite-sex married couples.

USA: Connecticut: A bill permitting civil unions was signed into law on 2005-APR-20 and will come into effect on 2005-OCT-01.

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