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Same-sex marriages (SSM), civil unions, etc.

Activities in other countries:
Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxemburg

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See elsewhere in this web site for information about same-sex marriages,
civil unions, etc. in the United States and the rest of the world

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  • 2001: The German Parliament passed a law recognized same-sex unions. They may take each other's names, must support each other financially, and may divorce and demand alimony.

  • 2003-JUL: Germany's Supreme Court upheld the country's civil union law which gives some of the benefits of marriage to registered same-sex couples. German cardinal Karl Lehman of the Roman Catholic Church condemned this decision as "a hard blow to marriage and the family." He said in a Vatican Radio interview: "Now the associations of homosexuals have a potent arm to obtain further concessions on the road toward full equality with married couples, including the right to adoption." 1
  • 2004-OCT-29: The Cardinal's prediction came true. The German parliament voted to extend additional rights to same-sex couples. They are not compelled to testify against each other in court. Widows and widowers can obtain a state pension. They can adopt the biological children of their spouses. The bill was supported by the ruling Social Democrats and the Greens, and some liberal Free Democrats, but opposed by conservative parties. Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said: "Same-sex partnerships are a reality in Germany. But gays and lesbians are still not treated equally in how they are able to live their lives, and there is no reason for that." About 5,000 civil unions have been registered since 2001. About 8,000 children are being raised by same-sex couples. 2

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The parliament passed legislation in 2007 that would allow unmarried opposite-sex or same-sex couples register their union beginning on 2009-JAN-01. This would have given the registering couples almost the same rights and protections as have been enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

The Constitutional Court annulled the law on 2008-DEC-15, stating that it "downgraded" the institution of marriage.

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  • 2009-FEB-02: The Social Democratic Alliance Party in Iceland chose Johanna Sigurdardottir, the former social affairs minister, to lead the Government. She thus became the world's first openly lesbian head of state: She is in a three decade long same-sex relationship with prominent writer Honina Leosdottir. 3

  • 2010-JUN-11: The Icelandic Parliament voted unanimously (49 to 0) to change the country's marriage laws to include unions between "man and man" and "women and women" in addition to opposite-sex unions. The law states that clergy will be "... free to perform [same-sex] marriage ceremonies, but will never be obliged to." 4

    Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political scientist at the University of Iceland said: "The attitude in Iceland is fairly pragmatic. It (same-sex marriage) has not been a big issue in national politics -- it's not been controversial." 5

    The main religious group in Ireland is the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It has yet to decide whether to allow same-sex marriages in its churches.

  • 2010-JUN-27: Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir and Honina Leosdottir were married in church on the same day that same-sex marriages first became available in the country.

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Information on SSM in Ireland has been moved to a separate essay.

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Same-sex couples were able to marry in this country effective 2015-JAN-01.

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Victor Simpson, "Vatican seeks to stop move toward same-sex unions," Associated Press, at:
  2. Tisha Steyn, "Germany extends gay rights,", at:
  3. "Lesbian in Charge," Star Observer, Australia, 2009-FEB-04, at:
  4. "Iceland legalizes same-sex marriage," Star Observer, Australia, 42010-JUN-26, at:
  5. "Iceland passes gay marriage law in unanimous vote," Reuters, 2010-JUN-11, at:
  6. Andrea Botha, "Irish Ruling on gay marriage," 2004-SEP-11,, at:
  7. Liam Reid and Joe Humphreys, "Gay marriage under focus in review of family rights," The Irish Times, 2004-OCT-18, at:
  8. "Mexico City legalizes same-sex marriage," Associated Press, 2009-DEC-22, at:
  9. "Mexico's Supreme Court Declares Anti-Gay Marriage Law Unconstitutional ," Huffington Post, 2012-DEC-06, at:
  10. Marya Hannun, "For a lesson on marriage equality, look to Mexico (which looked to the U.S.)," Foreign Policy, 2013-MAR-29, at:
  11. E. Eduardo Castillo, "Experts: Mexico ruling opens door to gay marriage," Huffington Post, 2012-DEC-06, at:
  12. Joseph Patrick McCormick, "Ireland to hold referendum on equal marriage in 2014," Pink News, 2013-JUN-24, at:
  13. "," 2007-FEB-23, RT News, at:
  14. "Marriage v Civil Partnership FAQs," Marriage Equality, at:
  15. "Millward Brown (Lansdowne) Polling Highlights 2012," Marriage Equality, at:
  16. "Countdown to KAL," Marriage Equality, at:

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Site navigation: Home page > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM Menu > here

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Copyright © 2002 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-SEP-24
Latest update: 2014-SEP-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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