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Finland: Gender Neutral Marriage Act Enters Into Force

(Mar. 2, 2017) On March 1, 2017, the Finnish Marriage Act became gender neutral as amendments to the Act entered into force.  (Äktenskapslag [Marriage Act] (Finsk författningssamling [FFS] 13.6.1929/234), FINLEX.)  The amending Act was adopted on February 20, 2015.  (Lag om ändring av äktenskapslagen [Act on Amendment of the Marriage Act] (FFS 20.2.2015/156249), FINLEX.) Registered […]

Israel: Naturalization Procedures for Gay and Non-Gay Partners to Be Harmonized

(Dec. 9, 2016) On December 8, 2016, Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, announced that the government would make the procedures for naturalization of gay partners of Israeli nationals the same as those for non-gay partners.  Mandelblit’s announcement was made in response to a petition filed with the High Court of Justice by the Israeli Gay […]

Australia: Bill to Establish State Relationship Register for Same-Sex Couples Introduced

(Oct. 7, 2016) On September 22, 2016, the South Australian government introduced into the State Parliament a bill that will enable unmarried couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, to register their relationships with the government.  The Relationships Register Bill 2016 (SA) provides for such couples to receive a certificate of registration and have their relationships legally […]

Romania: Same-Sex Marriage Decision Postponed

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 20, 2016, the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania, for the second time, postponed making a decision on recognizing a same-sex marriage concluded between a Romanian citizen and a non-Romanian outside the country. The decision was previously postponed in July, with the Court saying it needed more time […]

Aruba: Same-Sex Partnerships Recognized by Law

(Sept. 23, 2016) On September 8, 2016, the Parliament of Aruba, one of the constituent countries that comprise the Kingdom of the Netherlands, voted to amend the Aruban Civil Code provisions on marriage so as to officially recognize same-sex registered partnerships. The amendment will give same-sex couples the same benefits granted to married partners under […]

Germany: Court Recognizes Co-Mothers of Child

(July 6, 2016) On June 15, 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) published a decision issued on April 20 in which it held that a South African law that awards co-motherhood to the German wife of the biological mother of a child born in a same-sex marriage has to be recognized in […]

Estonia: Legalization of Civil Partnerships

(Jan. 14, 2016) On January 1, 2016, the Registered Partnership Law, which had been passed by the Estonian Parliament in 2014, entered into force. The enforcement of the Law was delayed by the need to pass implementing regulations and amend existing legislation. (Registered Partnership Act (Oct. 9, 2014), RIIGI TEATAJA [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] (Oct. 16, 2014), […]

Slovenia: Same-Sex Marriage Law Rejected by Voters

(Dec. 24, 2015) In a referendum held on December 20, 2015, voters in Slovenia rejected by a margin of 63.54% to 36.46% a law on same-sex marriage and adoption rights that had been passed by the National Assembly in March 2015. (Taylor Isaac, Slovenia Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage Law, PAPER CHASE (Dec. 21, 2015); Referendum […]

Vietnam: New Family Law Adopted

(Sept. 15, 2015) Vietnam’s legislature has adopted a new Law on Marriage and Family that will come into effect on January 1, 2016. The Law has 133 articles, arranged in nine chapters, and institutes a number of significant reforms. The primary goal of the Law is to give citizens a legal means to exercise their […]

European Court of Human Rights: Decision on Gay Marriage in Italy

(Sept. 14, 2015) On July 21, 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a landmark judgment concerning homosexuals and their right to marry in Italy. In the case of Oliari and Others v. Italy, the ECHR found in favor of six male applicants who were in committed, stable relationships with other men, but […]