Thursday, June 12, 2008

Norway Enacts Gay Marriage Law

Norway is poised to become the sixth country in the world to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Currently, The Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005)and South Africa (2006) all allow same-sex couples to enter into civil marriage. The state of Massachusetts allowed same sex marriage starting May 17, 2004.

Starting at 5:01 pm on June 16, 2008 same-sex couples will be able to get married in California. Professor Art Leonard of New York Law School has noted that most of these countries have smaller populations than California (38 million). To wit:
The largest is South Africa, with a population of almost 48 million, then Spain with about 45 million, then California, with about 38 million, followed by Canada, 33 million, the Netherlands, 16.5 million, Belgium, 10 million, and little Massachusetts, rounding out the list with 6.5 million.

In a few weeks we can add Norway to the list, with about 4.5 million. Surely the other Scandinavian countries of Sweden (9 million) and Denmark (5.5 million). Finland (5 million) and Iceland (300k) are not Scandinavian, but they are culturally related. All of these countries (like most of Europe) currently have "registered partnerships" which are a countrywide version of domestic partnership or civil union.

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