Tuesday, December 20, 2005


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Monday, December 19, 2005

A First for Northern Ireland: Same Sex Unions

Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close say they are privileged

"The first set of civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples in the UK have been held in Northern Ireland.
Two women, Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close, exchanged vows at Belfast City Hall, followed by a gay couple and another lesbian couple. The new Civil Partnership Act provides same-sex couples with similar legal rights to married couples.
Similar ceremonies will be taking place in throughout Great Britian soon."

When one reviews the list of countries that recognize same sex civil unions provided below by Wikipedia, it makes one wonder why the USA is so backward on this issue. Five countries, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain allow gay marriages. The state of Massachusetts in the United States also recognizes same-sex unions (although these marriages have no legal recognition at the federal level in the US). (information from Wikepedia)

Recognised nationwide in:
Denmark (1989)
Norway (1993)
Israel3 (1994)
Sweden (1995)
Greenland (1996)
Hungary (1996)
Iceland (1996)
Netherlands1 (1998)
France (1999)
South Africa (1999)
Belgium1 (2000)
Canada1 (QC and NS)2 (2000)
Germany (2001)
Portugal (2001)
Finland (2002)
Croatia (2003)
Luxembourg (2004)
New Zealand (2005)
United Kingdom (2005)
Andorra (2005)
Slovenia (2006)
(Approved 2005; Expected implemented 2007)
Recognised in some regions in:
Argentina (Buenos Aires, Rio Negro) (2003)
Australia (Tasmania) (2004)
Spain (11 autonomous communities)1 (1998)
Italy (8 regions) (2004)
Brazil (Rio Grande de Sul) (2004)
United States: CU: VT (2000) , CT (2005), OR (2005); DP: HI (1997), CA (1999), DC (2002), ME (2004), NJ (2004)
Other countries:
Czech Republic

Sunday, December 18, 2005