Past Newswire Headlines

Switzerland Expected to Hold Marriage Equality Referendum. A referendum on the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in Switzerland is likely to take place later this year. Read more here.


Putin Formally Bans Same-Sex Marriages in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally define marriage as between a man and a woman in the country. Read more here.


African Cardinal Urges Christians to ‘Rebel’ Against Same-Sex Marriage. Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso called on Christian families to “rebel” against LGBT lobbies that wish to “impose same-sex marriage” on the world. Read more here.


Netherlands Sees 20K Same-Sex Marriages Since Legalization. Twenty years after same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands, 19,000 men and 21,000 women have married someone of the same sex, national statistics agency CBS. Read more here.


Cuba Advances Efforts to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. The Council of State of Cuba appointed those in charge of drawing up the draft of legislation that provides for the inclusion of same-sex marriage and which will be submitted to a referendum. Read more here.


Couples Counseling Booms in China as Divorces Outstrip Marriage Registrations in 2020. The number of registered divorces in China reached a record 8.6 million in 2020 – almost double the 2019 total and eclipsing the number of marriage registrations for the first time, according to government data. Read more here.


Survey: Majority of Republicans Support Same-Sex Marriage. A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute has found that for the first time, a majority of Republicans in the U.S. support same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Episcopalians Rally Support for LGBTQ Couples After Vatican Refuses Same-Sex Blessings. Episcopal clergy are highlighting the Episcopal Church’s support for LGBTQ couples while condemning an announcement by the Vatican that it would not allow the blessing of same-sex unions. Read more here.


European Priests Vow to Defy Vatican and Continue Blessing Same-Sex Couples. The Austrian Priests’ Initiative said they will continue to bless same-sex couples despite the Vatican’s recent decree against the practice. Read more here.


Number of South Korean Marriages Hits All-Time Low. The number of marriages in South Korea plummeted to an all-time low in 2020, reportedly due to changing attitudes toward marriage among younger generations and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.


Japanese Court Rules It Is ‘Unconstitutional’ to Bar Same-Sex Marriage. A Japanese court ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to get married is “unconstitutional,” though a new law will be needed before same-sex marriages can actually take place. Read more here.


Argentine Priest Presides Over Transgender ‘Marriage’ Ceremony. A Catholic priest in Argentina has performed a Catholic “marriage” ceremony for two homosexual men, one of whom identifies as female. Read more here.


Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions. A two-page explanatory decree from the Vatican’s orthodoxy office clarifies that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.” Read more here.


Taipei Court Finds Grounds to Allow Int’l Same-Sex Marriages. The Taipei High Administrative Court revoked a decision by a household registration office not to permit a same-sex marriage involving a foreign national from a country in which such marriages are illegal and proposed alternate legal grounds on which the marriage could be performed. Read more here.


Coronavirus Lockdown Sees Marriages Plummet in Norway. Norway saw a 19% drop in marriages in 2020 compared to the previous year, which had already seen the lowest figure since 1927. Read more here.


Chinese Official Proposes Govt ‘Training’ Prior to Marriage. A Chinese lawmaker is preparing to introduce a bill requiring couples to take government-run marriage “training” classes before their weddings. Read more here.


Marriages, Divorces Tumble in Southeast and Central Europe. According to official figures from Southeast and Central European statistical agencies, the number of both marriages and divorces dropped significantly in 2020 during the pandemic. Read more here.


VA Proposes Formally Eliminating Obsolete Same-Sex Marriage Ban. The Virginia General Assembly is advancing a proposal to put a question on the ballot asking voters if they want to strip the now-obsolete same-sex marriage ban from the state constitution. Read more here.


Fewer UK Married Couples Considering Divorce Amid Pandemic, Survey Finds. The number of married couples in the UK considering divorce has declined since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released by the Marriage Foundation. Read more here.


Honduran Lawmakers Vote to Lock in Bans on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage. Members of the Honduran Congress voted to amend the constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hardline bans on abortion and same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Church in Wales Moves to Implement Same-Sex Marriage Blessings. The Church in Wales is considering introducing same-sex marriage blessings in its services after bishops proposed radical changes to the Book of Common Prayer. Read more here.


Hungary Defines Family as Having a Mother and a Father. Hungary’s Parliament passed a law defining the family as having a woman as the mother and a man as the father. Read more here.


UK High Court to Hear Argument Against No-Fault Divorce Law. A man who was divorced by his wife is set to tell the High Court that England’s vaguely worded divorce laws make it too “easy” to obtain a divorce. Read more here.


Swiss Bishops Express Concern Over Same-Sex Marriage Proposal. The Catholic bishops of Switzerland are voicing opposition to a legal measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country, calling the proposal “fraught with numerous administrative, legal and ethical difficulties.” Read more here.


Australian Bishops Differ Over Same-Sex Marriage. The Australian House of Bishops has acknowledged “with pain” that it is unable to agree on the blessing of same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Church of England to Debate Same-Sex Marriage. The Church of England could approve same-sex marriage by 2022 after its bishops promised to make a “decision” about arguments over sexuality. Read more here.


Nevada Voters Repeal Constitutional Definition of Marriage. Voters in Nevada repealed a 2002 measure that defined marriage in the state constitution as a union of one man and one woman. Read more here.


Vatican Attempts to Clarify Pope’s Controversial Same-Sex Civil Union Remarks. The Vatican offered nuance to Pope Francis’ recent, widely-criticized remarks regarding same-sex civil unions, claiming that they were taken out of context and were not intended to change church teaching. Read more here.


Two Same-Sex Couples in Military Marry in First for Taiwan. Two lesbian couples tied the knot in a mass wedding held by Taiwan’s military. Read more here.


Estonia to Hold a Referendum on Marriage As a Union of Man and Woman. Leaders of Estonian coalition parties signed a joint statement on holding a referendum on marriage as the union of a man and a woman in spring 2021. Read more here.


Mixed Philippine Reaction on Pope’s Nod to Same-Sex Civil Unions. Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions drew mixed reactions in the Philippines, Asia’s bastion of Catholicism, with a retired bishop saying he was scandalized by it while an LGBT group welcomed the pontiff’s remarks with relief. Read more here.


U.S. Support for Same-Sex Marriage at Record High. A Gallup survey shows that 67% of American adults support same-sex marriage, which is a record high. Read more here.


Bishops: Pope’s Civil Union Remarks Won’t Change Teaching on Marriage. Pope Francis’ expression of openness to the idea of laws recognizing civil unions, including for gay couples, to protect their rights does not change church teaching on marriage as being between one woman and one man, said several U.S. bishops and dioceses. Read more here.


Archbishop Says ‘Civil Union’ Not Mistranslated in Documentary. Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, long-time theological advisor to Pope Francis, has weighed in on the meaning of a controversial phrase used by the pope in a recent documentary, clarifying that the pope’s phrase is substantially equivalent to the phrase “civil union.” Read more here.


Catholic Bishop, Advocates Urge Vatican to Clarify Pope’s Remarks on Same-Sex Civil Unions. Remarks by Pope Francis defending civil unions for same-sex couples sent shock waves around the Catholic world, with voices on both sides of the debate calling on the Vatican to clarify exactly what they mean. Read more here.


Pope Calls for Civil Union Law for Same-Sex Couples. In a new documentary, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue. Read more here.


Methodists in Barbados Reject Recognition of Same-Sex Unions. The Methodist Church declared that it is not on board with the Barbados government’s decision to recognize same-sex marriages, instead affirming its “non-negotiable” support for the Bible’s teachings on marriage. Read more here.


Episcopal Church Panel Rules Against Bishop Who Banned Same-Sex Marriage in Diocese. A disciplinary panel of The Episcopal Church has ruled that a bishop who refused to allow the blessing of same-sex marriages in his diocese violated canon law. Read more here.


UK MPs Urged to Back Bill Banning Marriage for Minors. Pauline Latham MP is seeking support for a bill criminalizing child marriage and civil partnership before the age of 18, regardless of parental consent. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Should Not Be ‘Forced on Church’ in Barbados. Reverend Ezra Barker has stated that the decision to officiate a same-sex marriage should be solely left up to the marriage officer and should not be a mandatory law requirement of marriage officiants. Read more here.


Nevada to Vote on Scrapping Man-Woman Definition of Marriage in State Constitution. Voters in Nevada will decide in November whether to change the text of the state Constitution to remove language defining marriage as a union between only one man and one woman. Read more here.


Japan Local Assembly Wants Talks on Same-Sex Marriage. The city assembly of Nagaokakyo, western Japan, adopted an opinion urging the national government and parliament to discuss legalizing same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Hong Kong Court Refuses to Recognize Overseas Same-Sex Marriages. A Hong Kong court refused to recognize same-sex marriages conducted abroad in a case brought by a homosexual local councilor who got married in New York. Read more here.


India’s Top Lawyer Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Petition. Same-sex marriage is against Indian culture and law, and society does not recognize it, a federal government lawyer has said in reply to a petition on same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Barbados Pledges Same-Sex Marriage Vote. Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason said in a speech to parliament that the Caribbean country would hold a public referendum on allowing same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Share of Never-Married Americans Has Reached New High. In 2018, a record 35% of Americans ages 25 to 50, or 39 million, had never been married, according to analysis of U.S. Census data. The share was only 9% in 1970. Read more here.


Wedding Laws in UK to Undergo Reform. The Law Commission of England and Wales has launched its consultation on the reform of wedding law under the premise that “weddings law in England and Wales is in desperate need of reform.” Read more here.


No-Fault Divorce Law Faces Legal Challenge in Nebraska. A devoutly Catholic husband who refused to grant his wife a divorce on religious grounds urged Nebraska’s highest court to overturn the state’s no-fault divorce law in a case that could leave Nebraska as the only state without a law that lets couples end their marriage without assigning blame. Read more here.


UK Lawyers Complain New ‘Quickie’ Divorce Law Not Quick Enough. Under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, couples can divorce within six months without having to give a reason. This includes a statutory 20-week period that the Ministry of Justice describes as an opportunity for couples “to reflect and turn back.” Read more here.


Interest in Divorce Soaring Amid Pandemic. More couples, particularly newlyweds, have been seeking divorce agreements online amid the pandemic lockdowns, according to data collected by Legal Template. Read more here.


BJP Leader Seeks Reform of India’s Divorce Laws. A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in India’s national capital has filed a plea with the Supreme Court seeking the removal of anomalies in divorce laws to make them uniform for all citizens. Read more here.


UK Think Tank: Marriage Best for Children, Parents and Society. A report by the Centre for Social Justice said marriage delivered significantly better outcomes when compared to cohabitation, even “when controlling for income and education.” Read more here.


Relief for NI Churches as Wedding Ultimatum Withdrawn. The General Register Office for Northern Ireland has written to churches in the province to confirm that they are not at risk of being stopped from performing wedding ceremonies. Read more here.


Threat to Northern Ireland Church Weddings Withdrawn. The General Register Office for Northern Ireland has withdrawn a threat to ban places of worship from performing all weddings if they did not indicate by August 17 whether or not they would conduct same-sex weddings. Read more here.


Poland Won’t Let EU ‘Force’ It Into Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. Poland’s justice minister said the European Union may be in a position to force Warsaw to legalize gay marriage if EU leaders make financial aid conditional on upholding democratic norms and warned that this was unacceptable. Read more here.


Same-Sex Religious Marriages Approved in Northern Ireland. Exemptions and protections are in place for religious bodies which do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Baja California Lawmakers Reject Same-Sex Marriage. A bill to change the state’s constitution and allow the recognition of same-sex marriage failed to get the two-thirds majority required. Read more here.


Most LGBT People in Ghana Oppose Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. As much as 80 percent of LGBT people sampled in Ghana are opposing legalization of consensual same-sex marriages, which some believe is due to the fear of being abused and stigmatized if same sex-marriages are legalized. Read more here.


Thailand Moves to Legalize Same-Sex Unions. Thailand’s cabinet has approved a draft civil partnership bill to recognize same-sex unions with almost the same legal rights as married couples. Read more here.


Montenegro Becomes First Country in Balkans to Legalize Same-Sex Civil Partnerships. A new bill gives same-sex couples equal legal rights as heterosexual ones except for child adoption. Read more here.


UK Court Challenge Seeks to Legally Recognize Humanist Marriages. Six couples are taking a landmark challenge to the High Court in a bid to get legal recognition for humanist weddings in England and Wales. Read more here.


Russia Votes in Favor of Referendum Banning Same-Sex Marriage. Russia voted in favor of a national referendum that defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. Read more here.


Massachusetts City Officially Recognizes Polyamorous Relationships. Somerville, Massachusetts, has adopted a domestic partnership ordinance granting polyamorous groups the same rights as married couples. Read more here.


UK MPs Approve No-Fault Divorce. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill passed the House of Commons with MPs overwhelmingly rejecting even a modest amendment to improve the bill. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward in Swiss Parliament Despite Opposition. Supporters of the proposal argue it is time for Switzerland to give same-sex marriage full legal status. Read more here.


UK MPs Oppose Attempt to Rush Through No-Fault Divorce Bill. As well as removing “fault” grounds, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill seeks to make it possible to divorce in just six months and offers no opportunity for a spouse to contest the decision. Read more here.


Taiwan Court Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Adultery. Taiwan’s constitutional court struck down an 85-year-old law that made adultery a crime punishable by up to a year in prison. Read more here.


Costa Rica Celebrates First Same-Sex Weddings. The first same-sex weddings have taken place in Costa Rica, the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.


UN Human Rights Boss Claims Credit for Judicial Activism on Homosexual Marriage in Costa Rica. The head of the UN human rights office praised the Supreme Court of Costa Rica for judicially imposing homosexual marriage, then claimed credit for the court’s activism. Read more here.


MSPs Back Bill to Allow Mixed-Sex Civil Partnerships in Scotland. Members of Scottish Parliament unanimously passed The Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill at stage one, which would allow legal civil partnerships to be extended to mixed-sex couples. Read more here.


Churches Leave Mennonite Denomination Over LGBT Stance. In 2016, Mennonite Church Canada congregations voted in favor of creating space for congregations to hold differing views from MC Canada’s traditional definition of marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. Read more here.


LGBT Advocates in Taiwan Call for Full Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Involving Foreigners. Same-sex couples can only wed foreigners from countries where same-sex marriage is also recognized and can only adopt their partners’ biological children. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Will Be Legal in Costa Rica on May 26. No specific legislation will be passed that day; instead, articles of the country’s family code that explicitly prevent same-sex marriage will be repealed. Read more here.


Pennsylvania Becomes Third State to Ban Child Marriage. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a ban on child marriage, making it the third state to fully outlaw marriage for people under the age of 18. Read more here.


Divorce Granted Online for the First Time in Irish History. Online divorces are likely to become the new normal in the months ahead with Ireland’s Chief Justice predicting that remote hearings of this kind will be in place until the end of next year. Read more here.


Taiwan Sees 3,500 Same-Sex Marriages Since Legalization. A crowdsourcing project is now seeking to legalize same-sex unions between Taiwanese and partners from countries that ban them. Read more here.


Tunisia May Have Become First Arab Country to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage. The Tunisian LGBTQ organization Shams announced on its Facebook page that the Republic of Tunisia has recognized same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Polygamy Advocates Lay Groundwork for Civil Rights Revolution. Activists are moving to dismantle the legal and social barriers to polygamy and say their goals are beginning to take shape. Read more here.


Average Age for Marriage in UK Hits 35 for Women and 38 for Men. Overall marriage rates for heterosexual couples are at their lowest level on record, continuing a long period of decline. Read more here.


Northern Ireland Court of Appeal Rules Same-Sex Couples Were Discriminated Against. Same-sex couples faced unjustified discrimination while denied the opportunity to marry in Northern Ireland, the Court of Appeal in Belfast has ruled. Read more here.


China’s Divorce Rates Rise as Couples Emerge From Coronavirus Quarantine. In China, where the COVID-19 outbreak first began, divorce filings started to rise in the country after couples who were forced into mandatory lockdown together to prevent the spread of the virus began to emerge from quarantine. Read more here.


Taiwanese Prosecutors Voice Support for Decriminalization of Adultery. Several prosecutors in Taiwan voiced support for decriminalizing adultery as Taiwan’s Constitutional Court was hearing arguments that treating adultery as a crime is unconstitutional. Read more here.


Andorra Set to Become Latest Nation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. A bill presented by the ruling coalition of Andorra will remove the legal distinction between same-sex civil unions and heterosexual marriages. Read more here.


Date Set for Final Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage in Bermuda. The hearings set for early December will settle the issue after years of dispute in Bermuda’s courts and Parliament. Read more here.


LGB People in the UK Are Twice as Likely to be Unmarried as Heterosexuals. According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, 68.7 percent of people aged 16 and over who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) said they were not married or in a civil partnership. This compares to 34.2 percent of those who identified as heterosexual or straight that were single. Read more here.


Tokyo Court Rules Same-Sex Common-Law Couple Has Marriage Legal Protections. The Tokyo High Court ruled in favor of a woman who sued her former same-sex partner for damages over infidelity. Read more here.


Hong Kong’s Public Housing Policy on Same-Sex Couples Ruled Unconstitutional and Unlawful. The High Court said that a Housing Authority policy that prevents same-sex couples who married abroad from applying for public housing is a violation of the country’s constitution. Read more here.


Nearly 3,000 Same-Sex Couples Married Last Year in Taiwan. A total of 2,939 same-sex couples, mostly female, married in Taiwan last year after it became the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.


New Same-Sex Marriage Law Has No Opt out for Northern Irish Florists, Photographers and Hotels. Hoteliers, florists and wedding photographers will be unable to refuse to cater to same-sex weddings under plans being drawn up by the government. Read more here.


No Same-Sex Marriage to be Legitimized in Russia as Long as Putin is President. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that as long as he remains in office, Russia will not legalize same-sex marriages. Putin also stated that Russian birth certificates will not be changed to “parent 1” and “parent 2” instead of “mother” and “father.” Read more here.


Church of England Sticking by LGBT Sex Guidance. The archbishops of Canterbury and York said they were “very sorry and recognize the division and hurt” the statement about sex being only for heterosexual married couples caused but will not withdraw it. Read more here.


Sex is for Married Heterosexual Couples Only, Says Church of England. The Church of England has stated that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage, and that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings.” Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in Northern Ireland. For couples who are already married, their marriage will now be legally recognized in Northern Ireland. Those who are already in a civil partnership will not be able to convert it to a marriage at this stage. Read more here.


Catholic Church in Spain Launches ‘Years-Long’ Marriage Training Course to Cut Divorce Rates. The country’s Catholic hierarchy has designed a “two-to-three year” course for engaged couples to take before their wedding in an attempt to reduce Spain’s high divorce rates. Currently, couples only have 20 hours of spiritual guidance before having a church wedding in Spain. Read more here.


Supreme Court of the Philippines Rejects Petition to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court of the Philippines has reiterated its dismissal of a petition to redefine marriage in the country to include same-sex couples. The petition was initially dismissed because the applicant lacked standing. Read more here.


Church Groups in Philippines Laud Court Ruling Rejecting Same-Sex Marriage. Top religious leaders welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the country. Read more here.


Hate Crime Review Judge Challenges Northern Ireland Office Over Freedoms to Criticize Same-Sex Marriage. Judge Desmond Marrinan, the judge reviewing Northern Ireland hate crime legislation, has queried with the government whether freedom of speech should be protected regarding criticism of same-sex marriage. Read more here.


United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split Over Same-Sex Marriage. A group of leaders of the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, announced a plan that would formally split the church, citing “fundamental differences” over same-sex marriage after years of division. Read more here.


Taiwan Emerges as New Market for LGBT+ Surrogacy After Same-Sex Marriage Law. More than 2,000 same-sex couples have wed since Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, prompting a rush of commercial surrogacy agencies to head to Taiwan to help LGBT+ couples seeking to start families. Read more here.


Secretary of State Signs Regulations Introducing Same-Sex Marriage to Northern Ireland. Julian Smith signed the regulations that will allow same-sex couples to marry beginning in February 2020. Read more here.


Hungary Government Scheme Sparks Marriage Boom. A new Hungarian government scheme to promote marriage and childbirth with subsidized loans for the purpose of reversing a population decline has already helped produce a boom in weddings, though it is still too early to say whether more babies will follow. Read more here.


Yokohama, Japan Begins Distributing Papers Recognizing LGBT Couples. The city is the third in Japan to issue certificates that recognize the partnerships of sexual minorities and common-law couples. Read more here.


Historic Shift in Italy as Civil Ceremonies Surpass Church Weddings for First Time. According to Italy’s national statistics agency, ISTAT, last year, 50.1 percent of weddings were conducted in town halls, registry offices or other civil locations, while 49.9 percent took place in churches. Read more here.


LGBT Activists Push for Same-Sex Marriage in South Korea. LGBT activists filed a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Wednesday calling for greater same-sex rights. The petition carried the signatures of over 1,000 LGBT individuals, same-sex couples and family members. Read more here.


Same-Sex Couples in Northern Ireland Threaten Legal Challenge Against Government. The challenge would be for the purpose of forcing the government to allow same-sex couples to convert their civil partnerships into marriage. Read more here.


Armenian Parliament Refuses to Hear Bill Banning Same-Sex Marriage. A majority of lawmakers dismissed consideration of a draft law saying it was redundant given that the country’s constitution already defines marriage as a union between “a woman and a man.” Lawmakers also rejected a proposal to add a provision in the Family Code banning adoption by homosexuals. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Overturned in Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal overturned a previous ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands. However, the court ordered the government to “expeditiously” provide a lesbian couple with legal status equivalent to marriage. Read more here.


Swiss Protestant Church Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriages. The Federation of Swiss Evangelical Churches unites 26 regional Protestant churches in Switzerland. During the Federation’s autumn assembly, 45 delegates voted in favor of the measure, 10 voted against and five abstained. Read more here.


Pew Research Center Study Releases Key Findings on Marriage and Cohabitation in America. Findings include that more adults have cohabited than have married, and married adults have higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust than those living with a partner. Read more here.


U.S Divorce Rate at 40-Year Low. According to a study from Bowling Green State University, the U.S. divorce rate dropped for the third year in a row, reaching its lowest point in nearly 40 years. Read more here.


First Same-Sex Marriages in Northern Ireland Likely to Happen by Valentine’s Day 2020. Additionally, the new legal framework for access to abortion services in the region will be in place by March 31. Read more here.


Hong Kong Court Rules Against Same-Sex Unions. In the ruling by Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance, Judge Anderson Chow wrote that “updating” the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples would lead to “far-reaching consequences” that the court was not prepared to accept. Read more here.


Study Finds Forcing Same-Sex Marriage on USA Didn’t Reduce Teen Suicides. Contrary to claims by LGBT activists, researchers analyzing data from State Youth Risk Behavior Surveys concluded there was “little evidence that SSM laws have reduced suicide attempts among teen sexual minorities, nor have they decreased the likelihood of suicide planning, suicide ideation, or depression.” Read more here.


Study Finds Uncommitted Sex While Single Increases the Likelihood of Failure in a Future Marriage. The study published in the journal Psychological Science found that when one or both spouses displayed behaviors making them more likely to engage in one-time sexual encounters and sex outside of marriage, they were less satisfied at the start of the marriage. Read more here.


Irish Government Approves New Law Reducing Waiting Time for Divorce. The legislation will reduce the required period during which couples have to be separated to two years out of the previous three, from the existing four years out of the previous five. Read more here.


Japanese MP Makes Waves by Linking Same-Sex Marriage to Revising Constitution. A conservative ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for discussion on revising Japan’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples seeking to register their marriages have been rejected by local authorities because there is no law specifically recognizing it. Read more here.


Almost 70 Percent of Married Women in Japan Support Same-Sex Marriage. The government survey of about 6,000 married women found that of those in their 30s or younger, roughly 90 percent supported the legalization of same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Marriage and Fertility Rates Have Increased Dramatically in Hungary Since 2010. The state secretary for youth and family affairs stated that due to the government’s family support policy, the number of marriages has gone up by 42 percent and the fertility rate by 21 percent in Hungary since 2010. Read more here.


Top Philippine Court Refuses to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court threw out the plaintiff’s case primarily on technical grounds. LGBT advocates have vowed to push their battle in the legislature. Read more here.


Oaxaca, Mexico Congress Approves Same-Sex Marriage. By a vote of 25-10, lawmakers removed the definition of marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman from the state’s Civil Code. Read more here.


Thai Government Seeks Public Opinion on Civil Same-Sex Union Bill. The Council of State, the government’s legal advisory body, is currently vetting the bill and has assigned the Justice Ministry to hold forums to compile public opinion on some contentious issues in the legislation. Read more here.


China’s Parliament Rules Out Allowing Same-Sex Marriage. A parliament spokesman announced that China’s legal position will limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman. Read more here.


Zacatecas, Mexico Congress Votes Against Same-Sex Marriage. The Mexican state of Zacatecas voted 13 to 11 not to legalize same-sex marriage. Despite the fact that there is no right to same-sex marriage under international law, same-sex marriage proponents invoked the UN General Assembly as support for their position. Read more here.


Beijing Approves First Guardianship Case for Same-Sex Couple. An increasing number of same-sex couples in China are applying for their partners to become legal guardians in order to establish legal recognition of their relationships. Most applications are rejected. Read more here.


Increasing Number of Women in Japan Choose Not to Marry. According to government statistics, last year the number of couples getting married hit the lowest level since the end of World War II. It was the sixth straight year of decline in the nation’s marriage rate. Read more here.


Marriage and Divorce Rates Fall in Singapore. Figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics show a 4.3 percent decrease in marriages in 2018 compared to the previous year. Divorces decreased by 3.1 percent. Read more here.


Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage.  The measure came almost two years after Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the existing law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, despite a referendum last November where 67 percent of citizens voted to reject same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Poll Finds One in Four Canadians Still Oppose Full Same-Sex Marriage Rights. Fourteen years after Canada legalized full marriage rights for same-sex couples, a poll by the Research Co. has found that about 25 percent are still opposed to the measure. Read more here.


Montenegrin Parliament Votes Against Same-Sex Unions. Montenegro first moved to legalize same-sex unions in 2014, but that attempt also failed. Read more here.


Women in South Korea Increasingly Rejecting Marriage and Motherhood. According to a government statistics agency, in 2018 a slight majority of women felt that marriage wasn’t necessary, up from a majority in 2010. South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world, in part due to the high cost of living. Read more here.


Bulgarian Supreme Court Rules on Residence Rights for Same-Sex Couples. Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld the right of a same-sex couple to reside in Bulgaria. The country’s constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but in 2016, the European Court of Justice held that EU countries must respect the right of residence of same-sex couples married in another country. Read more here.


Japan’s Top Bar Association Urges Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued a statement calling on the government and parliament to legalize same-sex marriage by revising relevant laws. The statement claimed the exclusion of same-sex unions runs contrary to the principle of human equality. Read more here.


U.S. House Passes Bill to Update Tax Code to Help Same-Sex Married Couples. The bill, known as the PRIDE Act, is designed to update the tax code so that it provides equal treatment for same-sex married couples, and would remove gender-specific references to marriage in the tax code, among other things. Read more here.


Ecuador has First Same-Sex Marriage Following Court Ruling. A lesbian couple has married in Ecuador in the first same-sex wedding since a landmark ruling last month by the country’s highest court. Read more here.


Mexican State Legislature Again Rejects Law Allowing Same-Sex Marriage. For the second time in three months, Yucatan legislators voted against reforms to the Constitution that would allow same-sex marriage in the state. Read more here.


Chinese Marriage Rate Hits Record Low as Young People Decide to Stay Single. Data from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Civil Affairs indicates that young urban professional Chinese are putting off marriage because living alone has become more affordable and they wish to defer marriage until they find the ideal mate. Read more here.


Anglican Church Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Approvals. An Anglican Church of Canada vote to approve same-sex marriage failed to pass at its general assembly in Vancouver. The motion would have amended the church’s marriage canon to remove references to the sacrament being a union between a man and a woman—effectively allowing same-sex marriage. Read more here.  


Methodist Church in UK Votes to Move Forward With Plans to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. The Methodist Conference voted 241 to 48 in favor of allowing same-sex weddings to take place on their premises and to be conducted by Methodist ministers. Read more here.


Denmark Launches New Restrictions on Parental Divorce. Parents who have children 18 years old and younger and who are seeking a divorce in Denmark are now required to take a mandatory course and wait three months before they can separate. Read more here.


Namibian Government Stance on Same-Sex Marriage Faces Challenge. The Namibian government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages is heading for a test before a full bench of three judges of the High Court that will hear all pending cases in which same-sex marriages are an issue. Read more here.


Civil Partnerships Open to Heterosexual Couples in Scotland. The government plans to introduce a bill in the fall that will allow mixed-sex partners the same choices of marriage or civil partnerships as same-sex couples. Read more here.


Ecuador March Protests Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage. More than 100,000 protestors gathered in Guayaquil, Ecuador in support of life, marriage, conscience protections, and parental rights. The demonstrators demanded the nullification of a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, which opens the door to redefining marriage. Read more here.


A Global Snapshot of Same-Sex Marriage. The Pew Research Center has compiled and recently updated data on the status of same-sex marriage around the world. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriages in Taiwan Number Over 1,000 in a Month. A total of 1,173 same-sex couples have registered their marriages. Two couples have divorced since the country legalized same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


North Mexican State Rejects Attempt to Redefine Marriage. The legislature in the state of Sinaloa in northern Mexico rejected a bill by a vote of 20 to 18 that sought to amend the Family Code and redefine marriage between a man and a woman. Read more here.


Seven Same-Sex Couples Take Romania to Court to Have Relationship Recognized. The couples have sued the Romanian state at the European Court of Human Rights. Legislation on civil partnerships is currently blocked in Parliament. Read more here.


Ecuador’s Top Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage. The Constitutional Court voted 5 – 4 to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. The decision is the result of lawsuits filed by two same-sex couples. Read more here.


Czech Republic’s Equal Marriage Bill Still Waiting for Government Approval. The Equal Marriage Bill, which would legalize same-sex marriage, has been stalled in the Czech Parliament. The bill has been discussed twice in the lower house, but no vote has been taken. Read more here.


Hong Kong’s Top Court Sides With Homosexual Civil Servant Applying for Spousal and Tax Benefits. The couple married in New Zealand and was denied benefits by Hong Kong. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Hong Kong. Read more here.


Hong Kong Government Backs Traditional Marriage. The current law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman is being challenged by a woman who wants to enter a civil union with her girlfriend. A lawyer for the government argued that legalizing same-sex relationships would “dilute and diminish” traditional marriage. Read more here.


Study Finds Couples Who Attend Church Regularly Have Better Marriages. The report from the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution found that couples who attend church regularly have the highest relationship quality, the best sex, and less cheating. The data are from the 2018 Global Family and Gender Survey (GFGS), an international survey of over 9,000 men and women in heterosexual unions in 11 countries. Read more here.


Where Europe Stands on Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions. The Pew Research Center has summarized the latest information on European countries and the status of same-sex marriage and civil union laws. The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and just recently, Austria became the latest European country to legalize the practice. Read more here.


Survey Finds Nearly Half of Respondents Believe Legal Same-sex Marriage Across Asia “Inevitable.” The Economist Intelligence Unit survey found that 45 percent of respondents think the legalization of same-sex marriage will spread across the region. Three in four report a growing openness towards LGBT rights. Read more here.


Ireland Votes to Ease Divorce Restrictions. The referendum, which was passed by 82 percent of voters, will remove divorce regulations from the constitution and turn them over to lawmakers. Read more here.


Philippine House of Representatives Holds Online Poll on Same-Sex Unions. The survey asks whether the respondents are in favor, against, or undecided about the proposal on the legalization of same-sex unions as civil partnerships in the country. So far, 59 percent are against the proposal. Read more here.


Alabama Public Broadcasting Refused to Show Same-Sex Wedding in Animated Children’s Show. The children’s show, “Arthur,” depicted the same-sex wedding of Arthur’s teacher. The station showed a rerun instead and has no plans to air the same-sex marriage episode. Read more here.


Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Taiwan the first place in Asia to pass same-sex marriage legislation. Read more here.


Mexican Consulates to Perform Same-Sex Marriages. Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary has instructed the country’s consulates throughout the world to allow all citizens, regardless of gender, to marry in their offices. Read more here.


UK Government Reverses Position on Teachers’ Freedom to Disagree with Same-Sex Marriage. The Government revised draft guidance which effectively banned disagreement with same-sex marriage in independent schools across England. Read more here.


Survey Finds Majority of Americans Favor Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Pew Research Center, opinions about same-sex marriage in the U.S. are mostly unchanged since 2017, and a majority of Americans (61%) favor allowing homosexuals and lesbians to marry. About half as many (31%) oppose same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Zimbabwe Cabinet Approves Same-Sex Marriage Ban. The Cabinet approved the Marriages Amendment Bill, which among other things will prohibit child marriage and same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Thousands Protest Same-Sex Marriage in the Cayman Islands. Two thousand people attended a rally against same-sex marriage in the island’s capital. Last month a court ruling was issued that would allow same-sex couples to marry. The government announced the ruling would be appealed. Read more here.


Prime Minister of Fiji Says Country Will Never Accept Same-Sex Marriage. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while opening the Raralevu Subdivision in Tailevu said that despite rumors on social media, as long as the current government is in power, same-sex marriage will not be legalized. Read more here.


Study Finds Divorce is More Likely to Negatively Impact Children Aged Seven to 14. Researchers at University College London found that children from age seven to 14 are more likely to suffer from emotional or behavioral problems as the result of parental divorce than children of other ages. The study was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. Read more here.

Cuba Decides to Drop Same-Sex Marriage Law in New Constitution. The changes to the new constitution would have paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The measure would have changed the definition of parties in a marriage from man and wife to “between two people.” Read more here.


Data Show Negative Consequences to Children of Cohabiting Parents. A study published in the journal Demography found that even in countries where cohabiting is more normative, children experience negative outcomes. Read more here.


Taiwanese Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage. The country held a referendum after Taiwan’s high court passed a resolution in May 2017 ruling that it was a violation of the country’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Bermuda Supreme Court Reverses Government’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban. The government appealed an earlier court decision that reached the same conclusion. The court struck down the ban passed by Bermudian lawmakers last year. The ruling can still be appealed to the Privy Council in London. Read more here.


Hong Kong Rejects Motion to Consider Same-Sex Unions. Hong Kong’s parliament voted down a measure that would have urged the government to consider granting “equal rights” to same-sex couples. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Northern Ireland Will Stay for Now. Two same-sex couples are attempting to overturn a previous ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage does not infringe on their human rights. The Court of Appeal is expected to reach a decision early next year. Read more here.

Divorce Rates in UK Drop to Lowest Levels in Nearly 25 Years. According to statistics from the Marriage Foundation, the number of couples divorcing after three years of marriage has dropped by half over the last 25 years. The decrease is likely the result of a number of factors. Read more here.


Malaysia President Will Not Accept Same-Sex Marriage. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the country cannot accept LGBT rights. At the same time Mahathir denounced the punishment of a lesbian couple, saying it “did not reflect the justice or compassion of Islam.” Read more here.


India Legalizes Adultery. The India Supreme Court struck down a 158-year-old law that treated adultery as a criminal offense. The court said the law, which did not allow wives to prosecute adulterous husbands, violated the equal protection of women under the law. Read more here.


Cuban President Supports Same-Sex Marriage. President Miguel Díaz-Canel said he is in favor of recognizing marriage between people without any restrictions as a way of eliminating any type of discrimination. Read more here.


Romania’s Constitutional Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Couples. The court ruled that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexuals and would benefit from legal recognition of their rights. A referendum will be held this week that if passed will define marriage as between a man and a woman in the country’s constitution. Read more here.

Study Finds Thousands of UK Couples Exaggerate Faults of Spouse to Get Divorced. The study by the law firm Slater and Gordon found one-third of divorcees lie about cheating, a partner’s unreasonable behavior and the length of separation to get their divorce through the courts. Read more here.


Trinity Western Students Won’t Have to Sign Covenant Banning Sex Outside Heterosexual Marriage. The Canadian university had plans to start a law school, but it was turned down for accreditation because of the requirement for students to sign an agreement promising to abstain from all sex outside of heterosexual marriage. The agreement will now be optional. Read more here.


Number of Babies Born Out of Wedlock in Europe Increasing. According to Eurostat, the statistics-gathering arm of the European Union, as of 2016, 43 percent of births occurred outside of marriage, a 15 percent increase between 2000 to 2016. Read more here.


Army Chaplain Faces Six Months In Prison After Not Affirming Same-Sex Couple.Maj. Jerry Scott Squires is accused of unlawful discrimination for not allowing a lesbian couple to come to a marriage retreat. Squires rescheduled a retreat with a different chaplain for the following week to accommodate the same-sex couple. Read more here.


Ghana President Reiterates that Laws on Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Change. Amid rumors and speculation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated with regard to legalizing same-sex marriage, “We have no authority to do so, and we will not seek any authority to do so.” Read more here.


Costa Rica Supreme Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban. The court ruled that the law is unconstitutional and discriminatory. The country’s legislators were given 18 months to change the current law. Read more here.

China’s Marriage Rate Plummets as Women Choose to Stay Single Longer. Some parents in China attend a “marriage market” in an effort to find suitable husbands for their single daughters. The declining marriage rate has been linked to factors that include the economy and education. Read more here.

UK Divorce Rate has Fallen to Lowest Level in Almost 50 Years. The Office for National Statistics published data showing that there were 90,871 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2018, a decrease of 10.6 percent compared with 2017 and the lowest number since 1971. Read more here.


Ex-Magistrate Wins Permission to Appeal Removal. Richard Page was removed as a magistrate then subsequently from his role as non-executive director of the NHS trust because he spoke out about his belief that a child is better off when raised by a mother and a father. He will be allowed to appeal the decision of the Employment Tribunal. Read more here.


Same-Sex Couple in Bulgaria Wins Lawsuit Forcing Country to Recognize Their Marriage. The couple filed a lawsuit when one Australian woman’s Bulgarian residency request was rejected despite being married to a female citizen of the European Union. Read more here.


Episcopal Church Passes Resolution that Will Allow Same-Sex Marriages Even if Local Bishops Object. The House of Bishops and House of Deputies, the bicameral governing body of the church, approved the controversial resolution after a lengthy debate. Read more here.


U.S. Study Finds Same-Sex Marriage Doesn’t Improve LGBT Health. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, even though legalization of same-sex marriage has improved access to healthcare for LGBT individuals, their health indicators have not improved. Read more here.


Philippines President Opposes Same-Sex Marriage and Favors Civil Unions. President Rodrigo Duterte has stated his position on legalizing same-sex marriage. According to a recent survey, a majority of Filipinos are also against legalizing same-sex marriage. Read more here


Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Conservative Professor Wrongfully Fired. The court found that Marquette University violated the academic-freedom clause in the contract of professor John McAdams when it fired him over a  2014 blog post accusing a graduate student of refusing to allow undergraduates to express opposition to same-sex marriage during her class. Read more here.


Bermuda to Appeal Supreme Court’s Reversal of Ban on Same-Sex Marriage. The government has started proceedings against Chief Justice Ian Kawaley’s ruling to declare parts of the newly introduced Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) invalid. Justice Kawaley ruled in favor of a same-sex couple but gave the government six weeks to appeal his decision. Read more here.


Study Finds Marriage Tied to Lower Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes. The meta-analysis of 34 previous studies involving more than two million people and published in the journal Heart found that individuals who are married may be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die from a heart attack or stroke than individuals who aren’t married. Read more here.


U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Florist Who Wouldn’t Serve Same-Sex Wedding. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington was sued by the state and a male couple in 2013 for refusing to do the flowers for the couple’s wedding because it violated her religious convictions. The Supreme Court said that the ruling against the owner in the lower courts must be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in favor of a Christian baker from Colorado in a similar case. Read more here.


Czech Government Backs Bill on Same-Sex Marriage. The Czech Republic has allowed same-sex couples to enter registered partnerships since 2006. The bill would make the country the first in formerly communist Europe to allow same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Polygamy Banned in Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has signed a decree that amends the Family Code and adds the provision “Polygamy is not permitted in Turkmenistan” to Article 7. Polygamy is defined in the code as “cohabitation with two or several women simultaneously while maintaining a common household.” Read more here.


Government of Philippines Not Yet Ready for Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court has begun holding oral arguments for a petition to legalize it in the country. A spokesperson for the administration said, “There is a right time for these kind of issues. I believe that the Supreme Court and the country are not yet ready for same-sex marriage.” Read more here.


Pope Francis Says the Only True Family is That of a Man and a Woman. In remarks to a delegation of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations, Pope Francis denounced the use of the word “family” to refer to unions that do not consist of a man and a woman. Read more here.


Bermuda Supreme Court Reserves Judgement on Same-Sex Marriage Case. Last year the court ruled in favor of a same-sex couple that sued for the right to marry. Parliament later passed a law that banned same-sex marriage but allowed domestic partnerships. Read more here.


Italian Court Rules Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad Will not be Recognized.The Court of Cassation ruled that Italian citizens must register their partnerships as civil unions. The court noted that civil unions provide most of the same legal protections as marriage and therefore could not be considered discrimination. Read more here.


Northern Ireland Same-Sex Marriage Bill Blocked. The bill was introduced for its second reading at the House of Commons. A conservative MP objected, and the bill was re-listed for a date in October. Read more here.


Greece Allows Same-Sex Couples to Foster ChildrenLegislation was passed that will allow same-sex couples to become guardians of orphaned children. Same-sex couples must be in a civil partnership. Adoption by same-sex couples is allowed in at least 12 European Union member states including France, Portugal and Spain. Read more here.


Report Finds More Unmarried Parents Living Together With Their Children in the U.S. The report published by the Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of all unmarried parents are now living together, up from 20 percent of unmarried parents in 1997. Read more here.


Indian Supreme Court Rules Adults Can Live Together Without Marriage. The court ruled that even if adults have not attained marriageable age they can legally live together. Read more here.


U.S. Episcopal Church Deletes “Husband” and “Wife” From Marriage Liturgy.Phrases related to “procreation” will also be deleted. Homosexual Episcopalians have complained that the current liturgy is exclusionary. Read more here

Survey Finds Support for Same-Sex Marriage Increasing in the U.S.
 According to the American Values Atlas conducted by Public Religion Research Institute support for same-sex relationships is rising sharply among all major ethnic and racial groups and most religious groups. More than 40,000 Americans were surveyed. Read more here.


President of Ghana Says There Will be No Same-Sex Marriage During His Administration. Responding to comments that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphasized that he is not in support of its legalization. Read more here.


U.S. 2020 Census Will Ask About Same-Sex Marriages for the First Time. The census form will include separate categories for “opposite-sex” and “same-sex” spouses and unmarried partners. The purpose of the new wording is to prevent misreporting. Read more here.


Romania’s Ruling Party Hopes to Rally One Million People Against Same-Sex Marriage. The PSD party will stage a rally in May in support of traditional marriage and the family. Three million citizens previously signed a petition in support of amending the country’s constitution to define marriage as between and man and a woman. Read more here.


Utah Legislation Promotes Premarital Education. The law provides a $20 discount on the cost of a marriage license for couples who participate in premarital education. The incentive is intended to promote family stability. Read more here.


Peruvian Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage. The Superior Court of Lima reversed a previous court of appeals ruling and stated that the couple failed to respect the delays imposed by the law for the initial appeal. The same-sex couple was legally married in Mexico and filed a lawsuit to have the marriage legally registered in Peru. Read more here.

Northern Ireland House of Lords Passes Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is still prohibited. Currently, same-sex marriage is illegal, and marriages carried out in other countries are not recognized in Northern Ireland. Read more here.


Proposed Change to Divorce Law in Denmark. Currently, Danish couples seeking to divorce can do so online for a nominal fee. The Ministry of Social Affairs has proposed new rules that will require couples to have a three-month “reflection period” during which they will have access to counseling. Read more here.


Government Minister Says No Same-Sex Marriages will be Allowed in Barbados.  The Minister of Social Care and Community Development said that while he was tolerant of the LGBTI community, the government would not cave to their demands for legalized same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Colonel Stripped of Command for Refusing to “Appreciate” Retiree’s Same-Sex Spouse Wins Appeal. U.S. Air Force combat pilot Col. Leland Bohannon, who was also denied a promotion opportunity, has won an appeal affirming religious liberty. Read more here.


Marriage and Birth Rates Fall in Korea. Young Koreans are increasingly shunning marriage, and as a result, the country’s birthrate is one of the lowest in the world. Experts say that youth unemployment and the economic burden of marriage are contributing to the decline. Read more here.


Bermuda Same-Sex Marriage Ban Challenge to be Heard in May. The government banned same-sex marriage nine months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing it. Now a civil case has been brought against the government challenging the constitutionality of the law. Read more here.


Supreme Court of India Issues Ruling on Marriage that Could Lead to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. The court said that no one has the right interfere in a marriage between two consenting adults. Read more here.


Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Blocked by El Salvador Supreme Court.The ruling blocks lawmakers from ratifying the measure, which would define marriage in the country’s constitution as between a man and a woman and also ban adoption by same-sex couples. Read more here.


Catholic Marriage Counseling Agencies in Ireland Must Accept LGBT Clients or Lose Funding. The counseling service administered by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference received about €1.5 million during 2016. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage an Issue as Costa Ricans Choose a New President. The candidate who is in the lead according to the polls has come out against same-sex marriage and against the recent decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that called for equal-sex civil marriage rights. Read more here.


International Court Pushes Same-Sex Marriage on 20 Latin American Nations. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights called for the recognition of same-sex marriage and “gender identity” as a protected category for nondiscrimination under the American Convention on Human Rights. The decision is not binding, but 20 countries throughout the Americas have accepted the jurisdiction of the court and will likely be pressured to implement its decision. Read more here.


European Union Judge Rules Same-Sex Spouses Have Same Residency Rights as Straight Couples. The ruling was issued after an American man was denied residency in Romania after moving there with his husband. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Romania. Read more here.


Fewer Couples Married in Japan Last Year than Since the End of World War II.According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of people married in Japan has declined for the fifth straight year. The ministry says the decline is due to the decreasing number of young adults. Read more here.


Costa Rica’s First Same-Sex Marriage Blocked. A top Latin American human rights court ruled that countries in the region should legalize same-sex unions, but notaries are refusing to recognize the marriage between two men until the laws are officially changed. Read more here.


Australian Bill of Rights Likely Following Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. Both sides of the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage agree that there is a need to address protection of rights, particularly religious rights, going forward. Compared to other democracies, Australia has comparativly few rights enshrined in its constitution. Read more here.


Philippine Government Officials Believe Civil Unions are Currently More Appropriate than Same-Sex Marriage. Philippine President Duterte recently expressed support for same-sex marriage; however, other supporting lawmakers believe that legal civil partnership is more feasible than same-sex marriage. The first transgender Filipino Representative, Geraldine Roman, stated that while same-sex marriage is the ultimate goal, lawmakers should first attain what is most reasonable. Read more here.


Study Finds that Married Couples Report a Higher Level of Happiness. According to the British Household Panel Survey, long term data show that married people have a higher level of happiness and well-being. According to data gleaned from two UK surveys, researchers have found that the level of contentment is even higher when people think of their spouse as their best friend. Read more here.


Activists in Ireland are Appealing to Higher Courts to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Same-sex marriage advocates in Ireland are taking the fight to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeals. Despite the fact that civil partnership, which was seen as the first step became legal 12 years ago, same-sex marriage supporters have seen very little movement. Read more here.


Austria Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. Starting in 2019, same-sex couples in Austria will be allowed to marry as the result of a Supreme Court ruling that declared a law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman as a violation of the principles of non-discrimination. The legal team representing the plaintiff claims that Austria is the first country to recognize marriage equality as a human right rather than a political move. Read more here.


Australia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. Australian lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage and became the 26th country to do so. Weddings can take place starting in January, 2018, and those same-sex couples whose marriages took place overseas will automatically have their unions recognized under the new Australian law. Read more here.


Bermuda Government Halts Homosexual Marriages. Same-sex marriage had been legal in the country since a Supreme Court justice ordered the government to allow them earlier this year. The action comes after a bill providing for domestic partnerships for homosexuals was passed by the House of Assembly. Same-sex marriages already performed in the country will still be recognized as legal. Read more here.


Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Appeal to Stay Order Requiring Military to Allow Transgender Recruits. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had issued the order that the military begin processing transgender recruits January 1 while the case filed against President Trump’s order not to allow transgenders to serve was being litigated. The military is preparing to comply, but the administration will appeal her refusal to stay her order. Read more here.


Lawsuit Could Force All EU Nations to Recognize Homosexual Marriage. The suit filed by two homosexuals married in Belgium, one of whom is Romanian, asks the European Court of Justice to order Romania to recognize their marriage and grant marriage benefits even though that country defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. If they prevail, it would affect all EU countries regardless of how they define marriage. Read more here.


Australian Homosexual Marriage Survey Sets Off Religious Freedom Debate. There is a growing debate over the implications for religious freedom in the country when same-sex marriage is legalized. Strong support for homosexual marriage among those who returned a nationwide postal survey makes it virtually certain that the country’s parliament will pass a law to legalize it. Read more here, and here.


Iceland Has the Highest Illegitimate Birthrate in the World. In the tiny country of just over 300,000 people, 67 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Read more here.


Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples Can Now Adopt Children in Ireland. Couples who have been living together for at least three years or same-sex couples who are in a civil partnership can now adopt under the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 signed by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Read more here.


Australian High Court Gives Approval for Marriage Ballot.  The High Court unanimously struck down the challenges to the same-sex marriage ballot, clearing the way for ballots to be mailed to voters.  The results will be announced on November 15. Read more here.


Romania Closer to Referendum that Would Define Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman.  The Chamber of Deputies adopted the citizens’ initiative, which was supported by three million signers.  The Chamber has now adopted the draft amending the Referendum Law, which stipulates that a referendum must be held within 30 days from the time the revision of the Constitution is adopted by the Parliament.  Read more here.


Study Finds Married Patients With Heart Disease Have Better Survival Rates.  According to researchers at Aston Medical School in the UK, married people are more likely to survive a heart attack and survive with preventable cardiovascular risk factors than single, divorced, and widowed people.  Read more here.


Israel’s Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage is Not a Right.  The court rejected the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association’s demand that the Jewish state recognize same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


Doctors Accuse Australian Medical Association of Misleading the Public on “Marriage Equality.” A group of doctors is urging the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to retract its “fatally flawed” position endorsing same-sex marriage. The group has issued a 15-page critique that identifies misleading and false claims. Read more here. Read the document here.


Survey Finds Australians’ Views on Same-Sex Marriage Have Shifted. The annual survey of the same 17,000 people found that 67 percent of women and 59 percent of men want to see same-sex marriage made legal in Australia. In 2005, it was 43 percent of women and 32 percent of men. Read more here.


UN Criticizes Australia for Refusing Same-Sex Divorce. The UN Human Rights Committee ruled that an Australian woman has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end her legal, Canadian same-sex marriage. The committee said the decision was a violation of Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Read more here.


Law Professor Suggests Group Marriages on the Horizon. According to Professor Hadar Aviram of the University of California, marriages between multiple people could one day become a reality, even though they currently seem “unimaginable” like same-sex marriages once did. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Legalized by Malta Parliament. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised to make this the first law brought before parliament in his new term. The law removes words including “husband,” “wife,” “mother,” and “father” from the Marriage Act and replaces them with “spouse,” “parent who gave birth,” and “parent who did not give birth.” Read more here.


UK Man Wins Pension Rights for Husband at Supreme Court. The court ruled unanimously in favor of a homosexual former cavalry officer who filed a lawsuit in an attempt to secure pension benefits for his spouse. Read more here.


Study Finds Divorced Adults Have an Increased Risk for Stroke. According to Danish researchers participating at the 3rd European Stroke Organization Conference, stroke rates, especially for divorced men, are higher than for married, single, or widowed people. Read more here.


Poll Finds Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage Changing in U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown since it began polling in 2001. A majority of Americans, 62 percent, support same-sex marriage, while 32 percent oppose it. Read more here.


Armenia Now Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad. According to the Family Code, marriages between Armenian citizens, those between Armenian citizens and foreigners, or stateless persons, which have been registered outside Armenia, are valid inside the country. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Being Legalized Around the World. A growing number of countries have legalized same-sex marriage, and many more countries are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Legal Fight Continues Over Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Law. Attorneys have asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the law that will allow government officials to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and would protect merchants who refuse services to LGBT people based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Read more here.


Study Finds Adults Raised by Single Mothers Experience Decreased Life Satisfaction. According to the study by the German Institute for Economic Research and published in Plos One, individuals who grew up with a single mother for their entire childhood or who experienced a parental separation showed a small but persistent decrease in life satisfaction into old age. Read more here.


Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Benefits for Same-Sex Couples. The court ruled that the city of Houston should not have extended benefits to married same-sex couples. The court threw out a lower court ruling that had favored the benefits and sent the case back to a lower court. Read more here.


German Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. The legislation passed by a vote of 393 to 226 with four abstentions. Chancellor Angela Merkel had voiced opposition to same-sex marriage in the past but changed her position on allowing a vote on the issue and permitted MPs to cast a “conscience vote.“ Read more here.


Colombia Officially Recognizes First Polyamorous Family. Three men in a same-sex union have had their union legally recognized by the Colombian government. While the arrangement is not considered a “marriage” there are some legal protections for the threesome. Read more here.


Poll Shows Same-Sex Marriage Rate Lower Than Rate for Heterosexual Couples.The Gallup poll showed that two years after the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S., 10.6 percent of adult same-sex couples are married compared to 13.6 percent of adult heterosexual couples. Read more here.


Lithuanian Parliament Rejects Proposal to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Twenty-nine members of parliament voted in favor of the proposal, 59 voted against, and 20 abstained from voting. Polls show more than 80 percent of Lithuanians are against same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Arizona State Court of Appeals Judge Rules Paternity not Equal in Same-Sex Marriage. In what could be a significant setback for same-sex couples, the court ruled that the same-sex spouse of a woman who gave birth to a child is not entitled to a presumption that she is a parent and that the law applies solely to men. Read more here.


Switzerland Delays Same-Sex Marriage Deadline. The Swiss parliament extended the deadline by two years for deciding on allowing same-sex marriage. The delay will allow a legal affairs committee to investigate changes in the laws with regard to taxes, social security, adoption and reproductive medicine. Read more here.


Romanian Lawmakers Vote to Define Marriage as Between One Man and One Woman. The Chamber of Deputies voted to adopt the citizen’s initiative that will define marriage in Romania’s Constitution. The Senate must also vote on the initiative before a national referendum will be held. Read more here.


British Consulates Host Same-Sex Weddings in Australia. Over 30 weddings held by the British Consulate in Canberra are not valid under Australian law. Many Australians are objecting to this obvious effort to meddle in the country’s domestic political debate on the issue. Read more here.


Same-sex Marriage Plebiscite in Australia May Happen After All. The Senate rejected the plebiscite last year, but $170 million was allocated for it in the 2017-2018 budget, which states, “The Australian Government remains committed to a plebiscite in relation to same-sex marriage, despite the Senate not supporting the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016.” Read more here.


Bermuda Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court ruled that the Marriage Act section 24 and the Matrimonial Clauses Act section 15 (c), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman “are inconsistent with the provisions of the Human Rights Act as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.” Read more here.


Taiwan to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage. The secretariat for the grand justices confirmed that they will rule on the constitutionality of a ban on same-sex marriage next month. Taiwan could become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.


U.S. Millennials Choosing Education and Career over Marriage and Children.According to a report titled “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016” published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, most young adult Americans believe that “educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood,” and fewer Millennials are getting married. Read more here.


Study Finds Marriage is Important in Weathering Challenges of Parenthood.Research published in the journal Social Science Research using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found that being married at the time of a child’s birth is associated with smaller declines in relationship quality during the first nine years of parenthood compared to cohabiting or dating couples. Read more here.


Big Companies Support Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Australia with “Until We All Belong” Campaign. Companies including Airbnb, Quantas, and eBay are using the campaign to increase pressure on the federal government. The campaign features an incomplete ring people can wear that symbolizes the gap in marriage equality in Australia. Read more here.


UK Study Finds Marriage Lasts Longer than Cohabitation. The study by researchers at the University College London found that both marriage and cohabiting unions tend to end because of communication issues, relationship quality or unfaithfulness. In the UK, marriages last up to four times longer than cohabitations. Read more here.


Study Finds Millennials in the U.S. Less Likely to Marry than Baby Boomers. The study by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that Millennials are not only less likely to marry, but also less likely to live independently, to own a home, or to live with a biological child. Read more here.


Legislation Introduced in North Carolina to Ban Same-Sex Marriage. The bill would invalidate same-sex marriages and asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” when it struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage. Read more here.


European Citizens’ Initiative “Mum, Dad & Kids” Completes Signature Collection.One year after the launch of the project more than 650,000 signatures have been collected in support of marriage being defined as the union of a man and a woman in Europe. Read more here.


Cohabiting Parents Now Account for Majority of Family Breakdown in UK. According to a report by the Marriage Foundation, despite making up only one-fifth of parents, cohabiting couples now account for over half of all family breakdown in the UK. Read more here.


Australian Government Requests Advice on Postal Plebiscite on Same-Sex Marriage. The Finance Department requested information after the legislation to enable a plebiscite was defeated in the Senate. Read more here.


Denmark Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage in Church Does Not Violate Constitution.The Supreme Court in Denmark upheld a previous ruling by a lower court that dismissed a lawsuit claiming same-sex weddings in church violate not only the constitution but also the religious freedom of Danish citizens. Read more here.


Taiwan Court Hears Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Case. A panel of 14 judges on Taiwan’s top court are hearing arguments in a case that may legalize same-sex marriage in what would be the first country in Asia. The government is also considering legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Protesters Gather in Taiwan Against Same-Sex Marriage. The protest was to urge the government to postpone reviewing a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage. The bill has passed its first screening and a committee review. Read more here.


U.S. Divorce Rates Increase for Couples Over 50. The Pew Research Center reports that according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, although divorce in America has decreased by 21 percent for couples aged 25-39 over the past twenty-five years, it has nearly doubled for couples over 50. Read more here.


Philippine President Backpedals on Same-Sex Marriage. In 2015 President Rodrigo Duterte said he would consider legalizing same-sex marriage, but now he says he is opposed to it. The Catholic Church is a strong supporter of traditional marriage, and there are 80 million Catholics in the Philippines. Read more here.


Texas Challenges Same-Sex Marriage Benefits.  The Texas Supreme Court is hearing a case challenging the city of Houston over its decision to provide benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees.  Conservative lawyers argue that the 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Obergefell v Hodges, does not contain language specifically extending benefits to same-sex spouses.  Read more here.


Lutheran Bishops in Finland Say Priests who Perform Same-Sex Weddings “Will Face Consequences.”  Same-sex marriage was recently legalized in Finland, but the official position of the Lutheran Church in Finland is that priests should not officiate at same-sex weddings.  Finland is the last of the five Nordic countries to allow same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Slovenia. The law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by the Slovenian government last year. The law does not permit same-sex couples to adopt children unless they are from a spouse’s previous marriage. Read more here.


Study Finds Married People Have Lower Levels of Stress Hormone. The study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that married individuals had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who never married or were previously married. These findings support the belief that unmarried people face more psychological stress than married individuals. Read more here.


Finnish Parliament Confirms Same-Sex Marriage Law. A citizens’ petition demanding the repeal of the law legalizing same-sex marriage that will go into effect next month was voted down by members of parliament. The law was passed in 2014 by the previous parliament. Read more here.


Australian Senate Committee Inquiry Releases Report on Same-Sex Marriage. The committee’s report on the government’s same-sex marriage bill recommends creating a new category of independent religious celebrants who would be allowed to refuse to marry couples on the basis of religious belief. Civil celebrants would be required to marry any couples that are legally allowed. Ministers of religion would retain their current right to refuse weddings on grounds of sex, sexuality and family status. Read more here.


Polish President Says Country’s Constitution Defines Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman.  President Andrzej Duda stated that the governing majority is unlikely to change the law.  Poland is one of seven European Union countries to ban same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


Norway’s Lutheran Church to Allow Same-Sex Marriage.  The church voted to allow its pastors to conduct same-sex marriages and has modified the text of the liturgy to make it gender neutral.  Read more here.


Marriage Group Says UK Families Among Most Unstable in the Developed World. According to the Marriage Foundation, three in five British children born to unmarried parents living together experience family breakdown before they hit their teens.  Read more here.


Study Finds Cohabitors Experience More Intimate Partner Violence.  The study by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that serial cohabitors especially experience more violence than individuals who are married or dating.  Read more here.


Study Finds Cohabitation is Less Stable for Families than Marriage Worldwide, Though More are Doing it.  According to the 2017 World Family Map by the Institute for Family Studies and the Social Trends Institute, marriage is more powerfully associated with stability for kids than is a parent’s level of education.  American and European children whose parents were living together but not married at the time of their birth are by age 12 vastly more likely to see the parents split.  Read more here.


Fidelity Will no Longer be a Requirement for Marriage Under Draft Italian Law.  The law under consideration by Parliament will amend the current statute and eliminate the spousal pledge of fidelity from Italian marriage contracts.  Read more here.


U.S. Immigrant Families More Likely to Have Two Married Parents.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau 75 percent of immigrant children live in married-couple families, compared to 61 percent of children of U.S.-born parents.  Read more here.


Arkansas Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Birth Certificate Law.  The Arkansas Supreme Court threw out a judge’s ruling that could have allowed all married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children’s birth certificates without a court order.  The court stated that it doesn’t violate equal protection “to acknowledge basic biological truths.”  Read more here.


Kyrgyzstan Voters Back Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage.  According to the Central Election Commission, over 80 percent of voters were in favor of the amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Related legislation making its way through parliament toughens punishments for promoting “a homosexual way of life” and “nontraditional sexual relations.”  Read more here.


Israel to Ease Citizenship Process for Same-Sex Couples.  Same-sex couples who have foreign marriage documents will now undergo the same procedure to become naturalized citizens as heterosexual couples. The change is a result of a petition presented by the Israeli Gay Fathers Association.  Read more here.


Cherokee Nation Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Marriage.  A ban on same-sex marriage involving members of the Cherokee Nation was overturned by the tribe’s attorney general in an opinion issued Friday.  Read more here.


Most U.S. Children Live with Two Married Parents.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” 69 percent of the nation’s children under 18 live in families headed by two biological, step, or adoptive parents.  Read more here.


Taiwanese Protesters March Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill.  More than 20,000 pro-marriage and pro-family Taiwanese citizens marched through the capital demonstrating against an anticipated approval of homosexual marriage by Parliament.  Read more here.


Study Finds Parental Union Disruption Increases Offspring Union Disruption.  Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that both parental divorce and parental cohabitation increases the likelihood of offspring union disruption and offspring’s number of sexual partners.  Read more here.


Study Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of Women Have Cohabited.  Researchers at Bowling Green State University found that the percentage of women over the last 25 years who have ever cohabited has almost doubled to 65 percent.  Read more here.


South Australia Passes Law Recognizing Same-Sex Relationships.  The South Australian Parliament passed legislation that recognizes overseas homosexual marriages and introduces an official register for same-sex couples.  Read more here.


South Korean Court Rejects Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage Appeal.  The South Korean appeals court upheld a previous ruling that refused to legally recognize the marriage on the grounds that “same-sex marriage does not satisfy the definition of husband and wife in civic law.”  Read more here.


Taiwan to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage.  Taiwanese lawmakers are currently working on three bills in support of same-sex marriage, one of which could pass within months.  The country would be the first in Asia to legalize genderless marriage.  Read more here.


Australian Parliament Blocks Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite.  The Senate rejected proposals by the government to hold a nationwide referendum.  Currently same-sex couples can have civil unions or registered relationships in most states but are not considered married under national law.  Read more here.


Study Finds Divorce is More Painful for Couples with Children.  According to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Amsterdam and published in the journalDemography, couples with children suffer greater economic and social losses from divorce than couples without children.  Read more here.


Mexico Congressional Committee Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Measure.  The measure defeated on a 19-8 vote would have legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. Marriage supporters have mounted massive rallies in opposition to legalizing homosexual marriage.  Read more here.


Grenada Referendum Postponed Amid Concerns Over Same-Sex Marriage.  The referendum for a new constitution that was to be held at the end of October has been postponed at least one month over concern that one of the seven bills to be voted on encourages same-sex marriage in the Caribbean country.  Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite Passes Australian Lower House.  The bill passed narrowly on a vote of 76-77.  It is expected that the legislation will not pass the Senate.  Read more here.


Romanian President Urges Tolerance for Same-Sex Couples.  The Constitutional Court, the nation’s highest, is considering whether to recognize a same-sex marriage between a U.S. citizen and a Romanian man who were married in Belgium.  Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called for “tolerance and acceptance” of the country’s homosexuals.  Read more here.


International Survey Purports to Find One in Three People Believe Same-Sex Marriage Should be Legal.  The survey of nearly 100,000 people in 65 countries by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) found that 32 percent of respondents said same-sex marriage should be legal, but a greater percentage, 45 percent said it should not be legal.  Most neutral political observers are very skeptical of polls conducted or sponsored by advocacy groups.  Read more here.


Thousands March Against Same-Sex Marriage in Paris.  According to organizers, 200,000 people gathered in Paris, France to call for the repeal of a law allowing same-sex marriage before France’s next presidential election.  Read more here.


Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Suspended Over Same-Sex Marriage Order.  The state’s Court of the Judiciary suspended Judge Roy Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term.  Moore was charged with violating judicial ethics in issuing an order stating that probate judges in the state “have a ministerial duty not to issue” marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Read more here.


Printer Refuses to Print Australian Book On Traditional Marriage.  In an excellent example of one-way tolerance, a printer in Australia has refused to print a book by Dr. David van Gend on traditional marriage because of the content.  Read more here.


President of Chile Will Send Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Congress.  During a UN General Assembly panel on LGBT rights, President Michelle Bachelet said the government has committed to submit the bill on marriage equality to Congress in the first half of 2017.  Read more here.


U.S. Federal Judge Dismisses Challenge to North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Law.  District Judge Max Cogburn dismissed a lawsuit filed by three couples, two of whom are same-sex couples.  The judge ruled that the couples lacked legal standing to challenge the law that allows magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs.  Read more here.


Over One Million People March in Mexico Against Same-Sex Marriage.  Mexican citizens gathered in 122 cities across Mexico marching in support of marriage and the natural family in response to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s move to enshrine same-sex marriage in the nation’s Constitution.  Read more here.


Church of Finland Bans Clergy from Performing Same-Sex Weddings.  The state Lutheran Church said when the Marriage Act comes into effect in early 2017, it will have no impact on church weddings, which are defined by the church as being between a man and a woman.  Read more here.


Anglican Church Says it Will Accept the Results of Australian Plebiscite on Marriage.  The head of the Anglican Church in Australia, the Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, said a change in the civil definition of marriage must be accepted if the plebiscite approves same-sex marriage, but it is unlikely that the church’s doctrine will change.  Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Vote Runs Into Roadblocks in Australia.  The government’s plan to hold a popular vote on whether Australia should allow same-sex marriage suffered a setback when a political party announced it would not support legislation to authorize the proposed plebiscite.  Read more here.


Over 2000 Same-Sex Weddings in Three Years in New Zealand.  Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand three years ago, 2118 same-sex couples have married.  Almost 970 of those couples traveled from abroad to marry.  Read more here.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Says States Can Deny Same-Sex Spousal Benefits.  The court refused to review a lower court ruling holding that cities may not deprive married same-sex couples the benefits it provides to opposite-sex couples.  But in a dissenting opinion, Justice John Devine argued that the court should have reversed the lower court’s ruling and that the state has an “interest in encouraging procreation.” Read more here.


Tasmania Seeks to Protect Freedom of Religion Ahead of Same-Sex Marriage Debate.  Prior to the upcoming national plebiscite in Australia, the Tasmanian government proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act that will allow churches the freedom to speak out against same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


Chief Minister Calls on Australian Government to Drop Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite.  Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, Andrew Barr, called the plebiscite expensive, unnecessary, and divisive, and said there should be a free vote instead.  Read more here.


Study Finds Wealth Gap Between Married and Unmarried Parents.  A new report surveying  20 countries in Europe shows that among parents in the top one-fifth of income earners, 82 percent are married, whereas only 42 percent of those receiving the lowest fifth of income are married.  Read more here.


Study Finds Individuals in Same-Sex Marriages Have Higher Suicide Rates.  The study of over 6,000 Swedish couples published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that the risk of suicide for same-sex married women is 2.5 times higher and 2.9 times higher for same-sex married men than for heterosexual married couples.  Read more here.



Survey Shows Majority of LGBT Australians Oppose Plebiscite on Marriage Equality.  According to the survey of 5,463 LGBT individuals, 85 percent would prefer to wait for a parliamentary vote to avoid a plebiscite.  Read more here.


Study Finds Just Thinking About Marriage Lowers Delinquency.  The study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that teenagers and young adults who expected to get married within the next five years reported committing fewer delinquent acts in the next year than those who were not considering marriage.  Read more here.


Study Finds Unequal Division of Labor in Marriage Increases Risk of Divorce.  According to one of the researchers, “It’s the behaviors of husbands and wives in a marriage — employment status and the division of housework…that affect a couple’s divorce risk.  Read more here.


Canadian Anglican Primate Acknowledges “Deep Divisions” Over Same-Sex Marriage.  The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz made his comment in a pastoral letter after last week’s decision of the province’s General Synod to approve an amendment that will permit same-sex marriages.  Read more here.


Australian MP Denies Delay of Same-Sex Marriage Vote.  Liberal homosexual marriage advocate Warren Entsch said there is no deliberate delay, but rather necessary procedures and legislative timeframes that will determine the scheduling of a vote.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated a plebiscite could be held in early 2017 if not this year.  Read more here.


Romanian Constitutional Court Rules Citizen’s Initiative Defining Marriage as One Man and One Woman is Valid.  Romanian law stipulates that the constitution can be changed after a proposal by the president, the government, a quarter of the members of parliament, or at least 500,000 citizens.  The initiative was signed by three million Romanians.  Read more here.


Anglican Church Of Canada Backs Same-Sex Marriage.  One day after the church voted not to authorize same-sex marriage, there was a recount of the votes and the result was reversed.  Read more here.


David Cameron Says MPs Will not Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Legislation.  The outgoing British prime minister said he was “extremely proud” of the legislation.  Read more here.


Religious Liberty and Same-Sex Marriage Addressed in U.S. Congressional Hearing.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will examine how the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage has affected people who hold traditional views about marriage.  Read more here.


United Reformed Church in Britain Votes to Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry in its Facilities. The members of the ruling general assembly voted on the policy, although individual churches will not be forced to comply.  Read more here.


Marriage Rates Decline in Britain.  Data from the Office of National Statistics show that the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales who are married has fallen to its lowest level since 2002.  In 2015, 50.6 percent of the population was married, compared with 54.8 percent in 2002.  Read more here.


Bermuda Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage.  A large majority voted against legalizing same-sex marriage and civil unions, but the referendum was invalidated because voter turnout was below 50 percent.  It is now considered likely that homosexual marriage supporters will sue to overturn the current ban.  Read more here.


Poll Finds Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. Increasing and Domestic Partnerships Decreasing.  According to the Gallup Poll, nearly half of same-sex couples living together in the United States are married a year after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country.  It is estimated that about 123,000 same-sex American couples married in the past year.  Read more here.


Australian Prime Minister Promises Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage This Year.  Prime Minister Turnbull said if the Liberal Party of Australia is voted back into power there will be a plebiscite by August.  Read more here.


Mexican President’s Party Hit with “Protest Vote” After Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. Shortly after Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto announced measures to legalize same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption throughout the country, his party lost elections for governor in seven of 12 states.  Read more here.


European Court of Human Rights Confirms There is no Right to Same-Sex Marriage.  The ECHR unanimously ruled in the case of Chapin and Charpentier v. France that the European Convention on Human Rights does not provide the right to same-sex marriage under the right of respect for private and family life or the right to marry and found a family.  Read more here.


Presbyterian Marriage Ceremonies in Ireland Must Now Also Renounce Same-Sex Unions.  The Presbyterian church’s general assembly made the decision, which is now the “law of the church,” that marriage ceremonies must include a statement that such unions can only be between a man and a woman.  Read more here.


Study Finds Marriage May Offer a Boost for Heart Attack Survivors.  The British study found that married people were 14 percent less likely to die of a heart attack than single people, and they also left the hospital earlier.  Read more here.


Study Finds People With More Premarital Sex Partners Have Higher Divorce Rates.  While the association between premarital sex and marital stability can be fairly complicated, in general, data from recent years show women with 10 or more partners were the most likely to divorce, women with 3-9 partners were less likely to divorce than women with 2 partners, and women with 0-1 partners were the least likely to divorce.  Read more here.


UK Study Finds Children’s Self-Esteem Associated with Family Structure.  According to the Marriage Foundation, children with married parents exhibit significantly higher self-esteem than those in non-intact families.  The study used data on 3,822 children from the British Household Panel Survey.  Read more here.


Study Finds Marriage Linked to Lower Alcoholism Among Adults.  The Swedish study published inThe American Journal of Psychiatry found that first marriage to a spouse with no lifetime alcohol use disorder is associated with a large reduction in risk for alcohol use disorder.  Read more here.


Korean Court Rejects Request to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage.  The Seoul Western District Court rejected a petition from a same-sex couple who requested that their marriage be legalized by the country.  Read more here.


Petition for Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Romania has Three Million Signatures.  The petition calls for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.  The current definition of marriage under the Romanian constitution defines marriage as a union between “partners.”  Read more here.


Bermuda Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Facing Legal Challenge.  The watchdog organization, Centre for Justice said it has been granted leave by the Supreme Court of Bermuda to apply for judicial review of the June 23 referendum, saying the questions proposed by the Government will breach a variety of fundamental rights related to due process.  Read more here.


Church of Scotland to Allow Ministers to be in Same-Sex Marriages.  While the church maintains the traditional view of marriage between a man and a woman, the new policy approved by the church’s general assembly will allow individual congregations to “opt out” if they want to appoint a minister or deacon in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership.  Read more here.


Study Finds Being Married May Help Prolong Survival in Cancer Patients.  The study of nearly 800,000 adults published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cancer, found that unmarried cancer patients had higher death rates than married patients.  The beneficial effects of being married differed across racial and ethnic groups.  Read more here.


Nancy Pelosi Admits Same-Sex Marriage Could not be Achieved Legislatively.  U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted that the goal had to be achieved through the courts.  Pelosi explained her party’s “four point” plan to advance the homosexual lifestyle at a press conference on Capitol Hill.  Read more here.


President of Mexico Proposes Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Nationally.  President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a reform initiative that would include the recognition of the right to marry without any form of discrimination.  Same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico City and several Mexican states.  Read more here.


Italy Legalizes Same-Sex Civil Unions.  The Italian Parliament passed the law, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, on a vote of 372 to 51.  The Roman Catholic Church opposed the measure.  Read more here.


U.S. States Determine How to Respond to Government Officials Who Won’t Perform Same-Sex Weddings.  Same-sex marriage was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015.  Since then, some officials in several states have refused to participate in same-sex ceremonies on religious grounds.  Read more here.


New York Mayor Urges Residents to Boycott Chick-fil-A Restaurant.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for New Yorkers not to patronize the new restaurant opening in Queens, citing “hate” against homosexuals.  However, customers are flocking to the two locations in the city.  The owners of Chick-fil-A  have openly supported marriage between a man and a woman.  Read more here.

Anglican Church in New Zealand Debates Same-Sex Relationships.  The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia will consider the report by the “Way Forward Working Group” on the blessing of same-sex marriages.  The report was requested by the last meeting of the General Synod in 2014.  Read more here.


Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage.  The 6-3 ruling on the law by the Constitutional Court makes Colombia the fourth South American country to allow same-sex marriage.  Read more here.


Alabama Judge Suspended Over Same-Sex Marriage Stance.  Judge Roy Moore, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court was suspended by an Alabama judicial oversight body charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority.”  Moore ordered the state’s judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples.  Read more here.


Judge Rules Against Same-Sex Couple in China.  The couple had sought the right to marry in the first court case addressing same-sex unions in China. The couple plans to appeal the ruling.  Read more here.


Norway’s Lutheran Church Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriage.  The measure passed at the annual conference of the Norwegian Lutheran Church by a vote of 88 to 27.  Priests who object will have the right not to marry same-sex couples.  Read more here.


Federal Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Upholding Natural Marriage in Puerto Rico.  The First Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the decision of Judge Pérez-Giménez who upheld Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage stating that the Obergefell ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court did not apply to Puerto Rico.  Read more here.


Colombia High Court Paves Way For Same-Sex Marriage.  The Constitutional Court ruled against an earlier opinion that would have prevented public notaries from registering same-sex civil unions as marriages.  The court ruled last year that same-sex couples can adopt children. Read more here.


Study Finds Parental Divorce is Worse than Parental Death.  The study done by researchers from Virgina Commonwealth University and the University of Tokyo found that “parental separation has stronger and wider effects on mental illness than death.”  The researchers concluded, among other findings, that “parental separation had the strongest impacts on risk for depression and drug abuse/dependence.”  Read more here.


Alabama Senate Passes Measure to Stop Issuing Marriage Licenses.  In response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage, the Senate voted 23-3 on the measure that would require couples to file a form provided by the state that would record their marriage rather than have county probate offices issue licenses.  This would allow anyone to marry and would also allow officials who oppose same-sex marriage to not have to issues licenses to same-sex couples.  The bill will move to the Alabama House.  Read more here.


U.S. CDC Survey Finds Americans More Likely to Accept Cohabiting and Out-of-Wedlock Births than a Decade Ago. Data from the Centers for Disease Control’s National survey of Family Growth found that Americans were also more likely to accept the idea of the adoption of children by same-sex couples and were less likely to accept the idea of divorce now than a decade ago. Over 45,000 people ages 15 to 44 were included in the survey. Read more here.