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Main developments:

bulletOn JAN-12, homosexuals became able to serve in the British armed forces.
bulletOn MAR-12, The European Parliament passed a resolution which recommended that same-sex unions be granted the same legal recognition as heterosexual marriages. It called on all 15 members of the European Union "to make rapid progress in the area of mutual recognition of the various forms of living together legally, but not of a conjugal character, and of legal marriages between persons of the same sex." The vote was 265 to 125, with 33 abstentions.
bulletOn MAR-7, California voters approved Proposition 22. This is a "Defense Of Marriage Act" (DOMA), which restricts marriage to one man and one woman.
bulletOn APR-26, Governor Howard Dean (VT-D) signed the Vermont civil union bill into law. It gives same-sex couples the same state rights as opposite-sex married couples have always enjoyed. Same-sex couples are denied federal benefits, however.
bulletOn JUL-1, Gays and lesbians were able to obtain their civil union certificates in Vermont.
bulletOn SEP-12, the lower house passed a bill (109 to 33) which would allow Dutch citizens who are involved in same-sex relationships to marry, "with all the trappings, including adoption and divorce -- [they approved] a bill that gives gays rights beyond those offered anywhere else."
bulletDuring the presidential campaign, Democrats Al Gore and Bill Bradley promised to reverse the ban on homosexuals in the military; Republicans Bush and McCain promised to preserve the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Bauer, Forbes, and Keys promised to prohibit military service by all gays and lesbians.
bulletOn APR-1, Dutch same-sex couples joined with opposite-sex couples in being able to obtain marriage licenses from the state. This is the first time in recent history that gays and lesbians have been allowed to marry in any country.
bulletOn JUN-1, same-sex couples in Nova Scotia, Canada, became eligible to register their domestic partnership at the province's Office of Vital Statistics.
bulletOn JUL-12: The Alliance for Marriage has proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. It reads: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
bulletOn SEP-6, the first same-sex partnerships were registered in London, UK.
bulletOn SEP-21, the California legislature passed a bill giving rights to domestic partners.
bulletOn JUL-12, in a 129 page decision, "three Ontario [Canada] Superior Court judges unanimously ruled in a Divisional Court decision that the current legal definition of marriage [in Ontario] is discriminatory, and ordered it changed to include recognition of same-sex marriage." They have given the Ontario and Federal governments 24 months in which to change their legislation so that same-sex couples can marry. More details. This is a momentous development, because federal legislation defines marriage, and the provincial marriage laws implement the federal laws. Thus a change at the federal level will make same-sex marriage available to all same-sex couples who wish to be married. The Ontario government, which was under the control of the conservative party decided to not appeal the court's decision. The federal government later decided to not appeal the ruling.

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bulletThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas' anti-sodomy law, which had criminalized consensual same-sex sexual behavior in private, was unconstitutional. The decision by the court was so broad that it also wiped similar laws from the books of 15 other states.
bulletFor the first time in U.S. history, same-sex couples were able to purchase marriage licenses in Massachusetts starting on May-17.
bulletBy the end of the year, same sex couples were able to marry in seven out of ten provinces and one out of three territories in Canada.
bulletFEB-01, the Canadian federal government introduced bill C-38 to make same-sex marriages available across Canada.
bulletOn APR-20, governor M. Jodi Rell (R) of Connecticut signed a bill into law which will make civil unions available to same-sex couples in the state starting on 2005-OCT-01.

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Related essays in this web site:

bulletSame-sex marriage
bulletSame-sex marriage in the Netherlands
bulletSame-sex marriage in Canada

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  1. Tracy Huffman, Ontario judges say federal law is discriminatory," Toronto Star, 2002-JUL-13, Pages A1 & A23.

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Copyright © 2002 to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-JUL-23
Latest update: 2005-MAY-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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