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Greenland: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes

(June 11, 2015) As of October 1, 2015, Greenland, a semi-autonomous region of Denmark, will permit same-sex couples to marry. Lawmakers in the parliament, the Inatsisartut, approved the measure by a vote of 27-0 on May 26, following a campaign for the right to marry that began in 2010. (Chris Bolwig, Greenland Passes Same-Sex Marriage […]

Italy: Summary Divorce Proceedings Revised

(May 20, 2015) On May 26, 2015, new legislation amending the procedural rules on the declaration of a divorce will enter into effect in Italy. (Law No. 55 of May 6, 2015, Provisions on the Dissolution or Cessation of the Civil Effects of Marriage as well as Cohabitation Between Spouses [Law No. 55], GAZETTA UFFICIALE […]

South Korea: Criminal Provision on Adultery Held Unconstitutional

(Mar. 24, 2015) South Korea’s Constitutional Court has struck down the provision that defined the crime of adultery in the Criminal Act, ending a decades-long controversy. (2009 Hun-Ba 17, Con. Ct., Feb. 26, 2015, Constitutional Court website (in Korean); Criminal Act, Act No. 293 (Sept. 18, 1953, as last amended by Act No.12898 of Dec. […]

Brazil: Alimony Now Permitted for Gay Couples

(Mar. 9, 2015) On March 3, 2015, the Brazilian Superior Tribunal of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça, STJ) unanimously granted to one of the partners of a gay union the right to request alimony in a case involving a separation. (STJ Garante a Gays Direito de Pedir Pensão Alimentícia, VEJA (Mar. 4, 2015).) The case […]

Slovenia: Law on Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights Passed

(Mar. 9, 2015) It was reported on March 3, 2015, that Slovenia’s National Assembly had passed amendments to the country’s Law on Marriage and Family Relations that grant equal status to same-sex and heterosexual unions. Fifty-one Deputies of the 90-member body voted in favor of the changes; 28 voted against it. (Press Release, Republic of […]

Chile: Congress Approves Civil Unions Legislation

(Feb. 25, 2015) On January 28, 2015, both houses of Chile’s Congress approved legislation that would allow same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions, called Acuerdos de Unión Civil (AUC). The draft law is now awaiting President Michele Bachelet’s signature for promulgation. (Pablo Cádiz, Proyecto de Unión Civil Finaliza Su Trámite Legislativo y […]

Malawi: Parliament Passes Comprehensive Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Legislation

(Feb. 24, 2015) On February 12, 2015, Malawi’s 193-member unicameral National Assembly passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill, 2015. (Malawi Parliament Overwhelmingly Passes Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill Without Amendment, MALAWI VOICE (Feb. 13, 2015).) The legislation, which is awaiting a presidential signature in order to by formally enacted, consolidates various laws […]

Slovak Republic: Effort to Ban Same-Sex Marriage Fails

(Feb. 12, 2015) On February 7, 2015, Slovakia held a national referendum on the subject of same-sex marriage. The initiative, designed to strengthen the country’s ban on the practice, failed due to low voter participation. Instead of the 50% needed for a valid vote, only approximately 21% of those eligible took part. The questions the […]

Pakistan: Punjab Government Considers Anti-Child Marriage Law

(Jan. 30, 2015) On January 29, 2015, the Chairperson of the Punjab Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, while speaking at a conference on child marriages in Pakistan, stated that the Punjab Cabinet was considering several amendments to provincial-level marriage laws. According to a news report, the proposed changes include: raising the minimum age […]

Canada: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Tables New Bill on Cultural Practices

(Dec. 4, 2014) On November 5, 2014, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, announced the tabling of a new bill, whose short title is the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. The legislation would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act, and the Criminal Code. (Bill S-7, Parliament […]