MARRIAGE

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Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Referendum Vote. Cubans have approved a sweeping “family law” code that will allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, officials announced. Read more here.

 

Flemish Bishops Allow Blessing of Same-Sex Unions. Flemish Roman Catholic bishops issued a document effectively allowing the blessing of same-sex unions in order to be a “welcoming Church that excludes no one.” Read more here.

 

Poll: Three in Five U.S. Voters Support Federal Same-Sex Marriage Law. A new Morning Consult-Politico poll found that 59 percent of voters surveyed support Congress codifying same-sex marriage rights with a federal law. Read more here.

 

U.S. Senate Will Delay Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Measure Until After Midterms. The Senate will delay its vote on same-sex marriage until after the midterm elections, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a lead sponsor of the bipartisan measure, announced. Read more here.

 

Record Number of Young People in Japan Rejecting Marriage, Survey Shows. A record number of men and women in Japan say they do not intend to marry, a trend experts have warned will undermine efforts to address the country’s population crisis. Read more here.

 

Debate on Polyamory in the Church Sparked in Norway. The Church of Norway is debating whether polyamorous relationships should be recognized since the church has already let go of the “heterosexual norm” for marriage. Read more here.

 

U.S. Senate Democrats May Include Same-Sex Marriage Legislation in Govt Funding Package. Senior Senate Democrats are reportedly discussing the possibility of including legislation to protect same-sex marriage “rights” in a government funding bill. Read more here.

 

Mississippi Report on Fatherlessness Highlights Need for Increased Emphasis on Marriage, Experts Say. A recently released report from the state government of Mississippi underscored that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on government programs that could have been avoided if more fathers were present in their children’s lives. Read more here.

 

Legal Appeal Against Hong Kong’s Refusal to Recognize Overseas Same-Sex Marriages Fails. Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal ruled that the city’s constitution granted access to the institution of marriage only to opposite-sex partners and that the government had no obligation to recognize same-sex unions. Read more here.

 

Swiss Reformed Church Order Deletes ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom.’ The Reformed Church in the Swiss canton of Zurich is deleting words such as “bride” and “groom” from its Church Order and replacing them with the gender-neutral term “married couple.” Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Union Bill Filed in Philippines. A bill seeking to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and be afforded inheritance and adoption rights has been filed in the Philippine Senate. Read more here.

 

Pandemic Delivers Major Blow to Number of New Marriages in Japan, Study Finds. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major decline in the number of new marriages in Japan, a recent study showed. Read more here.

 

Disney Signs Letter in Support of Federal Law for Same-Sex Marriage. The letter, spearheaded by the Human Rights Campaign, urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which has already passed the House. Read more here.

 

Ukraine President Asks Government to Study Legalizing Same-Sex Marriages. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked his government to look into whether same-sex marriages should be legalized but said there would be no move as long as the war with Russia continued. Read more here.

 

Czech MPs Want to Enshrine Marriage As Being Between One Man and One Woman in Constitution. Over fifty Czech MPs filed a proposal to constitutionally enshrine marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The amendment would change the current wording: “Parenthood and the family are under the protection of the law” to: “Parenthood, the family and marriage as a union of a man and a woman are under the protection of the law.” Read more here.

 

Cuba Announces Same-Sex Marriage Referendum. Cuba’s parliament announced that the country will hold a referendum on the legalization of same-sex marriage and surrogate parenthood. The referendum on the new family law is scheduled to be held on September 25. Read more here.

 

47 U.S. House Republicans Back Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage. In a 267-157 vote, the House passed legislation repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and enshrining protections for same-sex marriage into federal law in a measure dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act. Read more here.

 

Civil Partnerships in Wales and England Plummet as Same-Sex Unions Hit All Time Low. Since the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK, more couples are deciding to marry instead of enter civil partnerships. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Marriages Validated in Bermuda. Same-sex couples who married before a landmark Privy Council ruling outlawed same-sex unions are valid under new laws. Read more here.

 

Ukraine to Consider Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Amid War. A petition in Ukraine calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized has gained enough signatures for the president to consider the proposal. President Volodymyr Zelensky now has 10 days to respond. Read more here.

 

Slovenia’s Top Court Strikes Out Bans on Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption. A top court in Slovenia ruled that bans on same-sex marriage and adoption are unconstitutional and ordered its parliament to amend the law within six months. Read more here.

 

UK Parliament to Consider Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Overseas Territories. Lord Michael Cashman has introduced a bill in the UK’s House of Lords to make same-sex marriage legal in the Cayman Islands and other British Overseas Territories. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Marriage Law Takes Effect in Switzerland. The “Marriage for All” law has taken effect in Switzerland, making same-sex marriage legal in the European nation. Read more here.

 

World’s Oldest Methodist Church to Allow Same-Sex Marriage. The world’s oldest Methodist building will now offer same-sex marriages after voting unanimously in favor. Read more here.

 

Japanese Court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage. A district court in Japan has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional since Japan’s constitution defines marriage as being between “both sexes.” Read more here.

 

Lithuanian Bishops Call for Scrapping of Same-Sex Partnership Bill. Lithuanian bishops have called on politicians to vote down proposed same-sex partnership legislation, arguing that civil unions distort the concept of marriage and family. Read more here.

 

Italian Church Offers Public Blessing to Same-Sex Couple. A Catholic church outside Bologna, Italy bestowed a public blessing on a same-sex couple with the permission of Bologna’s Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, a leading candidate for the next papal election. Read more here.

 

Thailand Takes Step Toward Same-Sex Marriage With Parliament Vote. Lawmakers in Thailand gave initial approval to legalizing same-sex unions by approving two bills that would allow same-sex marriages and two others that would permit civil partnerships. Read more here.

 

Tokyo Moves to Allow Same-Sex Partnerships. The Tokyo metropolitan government adopted legislation recognizing same-sex partnerships which will extend some rights that apply to married heterosexual couples but falls short of allowing same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Cuba Introduces New Marriage Equality Bill. Discussions on a new bill which would legalize same-sex marriage are being held in Cuba. Read more here.

 

Japanese Govt Reports 1-in-4 Adults in Their Thirties Refuse to Get Married. A white paper released by the Japanese government reveals that one-quarter of Japanese singles aged 30 to 39 have little interest in getting married. Read more here.

 

Thai Opposition Party Rallies MPs to Push Through Same-Sex Marriage Bill. Thailand’s opposition chief whip is rounding up MPs to speak in support of the Marriage Equality Bill, fearing the government will kill it during the first reading. Read more here.

 

Montenegro Sued for Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples. A Montenegrin NGO launched a lawsuit against the state for discriminating against same-sex couples who got married abroad but cannot register their partnerships at home. Read more here.

 

Czech President Vows to Block Same-Sex Marriages. Czech President Milos Zeman said that he is ready to veto, if approved by parliament, proposed legislation that would give same-sex couples in the country the right to hold civil weddings. Read more here.

 

Thailand Advances Bill Allowing Same-Sex Unions. The Thai Cabinet has approved draft legislation that would enable same-sex couples to adopt children and have other legal benefits which are not part of current law. Read more here.

 

Lithuanian Parliament Agrees to Consider Same-Sex Partnership Bill. Lithuania’s parliament voted to accept a draft bill legalizing same-sex civil partnerships for further debate. Read more here.

 

Spanish Embassy Allegedly Plans to Bless Same-Sex Marriage in Ghana. MP Sam Nartey George has alleged that the Spanish Embassy is seeking to bless same-sex marriages in Ghana and describes this action as an attempt to change the nation’s “cultural identity.” Read more here.

 

Church of Scotland Votes to Allow Same-Sex Weddings. The Church of Scotland has voted to allow ministers to conduct same-sex weddings in its churches. Read more here.

 

Marriage Rates in UK Drop to Lowest on Record. The rate of marriages between men and women in England and Wales fell to a record low in 2019, according to figures by the Office of National Statistics. Read more here.

 

Australian Bishops Veto Motion Denouncing Same-Sex Marriage. Australian bishops have rejected a statement affirming the biblical basis for marriage as the national church’s official position. Read more here.

 

Lithuanian MPs Propose Civil Union as Compromise on Same-Sex Partnership. A group of Lithuanian MPs have drafted a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into a civil union instead of the previously proposed civil partnership. Read more here.

 

Tokyo to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships Later This Year. The Tokyo metropolitan government will begin to recognize same-sex partnerships in November 2022. Read more here.

 

Wales Archbishop Says Same-Sex Couples Could Marry ‘Within Five Years.’ Wales’ new Archbishop has said that same-sex couples could be blessed in wedding ceremonies in the churches within five years. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Civil Partnership Bill Included in Thai Govt Agenda. A bill to legalize same-sex civil partnerships is set to be considered by the Thai government in the upcoming legislative session. Read more here.

 

UK Divorces Surge as ‘No Fault’ Law Takes Effect. Figures show that divorce applications in England and Wales soared by almost 50 percent just a week after the ‘no fault’ law took effect. Read more here.

 

Quick Divorce Law Takes Effect in England and Wales. Under a new law that has taken effect, couples in the UK can divorce in six months without having to give a reason, and a spouse cannot contest the decision. Read more here.

 

Bill to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Introduced in India’s Parliament. India’s Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule introduced a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Cubans Split Over Same-Sex Marriage as Referendum Nears. Cuba’s government is seeking to rally support for a new family code that would open the door to same-sex marriage, but experts suggest the outcome of an upcoming referendum vote is uncertain. Read more here.

 

Thai Cabinet Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Bill. The Thai cabinet rejected a bill which sought to legalize same-sex marriage, though the bill can still receive a parliamentary review. Read more here.

 

Kosovo’s Parliament Rejects New Law Recognizing Same-Sex Civil Unions. Kosovo’s parliament has rejected a new law that would allow same-sex couples to form civil partnerships. Read more here.

 

British Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage in Bermuda, Cayman Islands. A top British appeals court has ruled against same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom territories of the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Read more here.

 

Chile’s Same-Sex Marriage Law Takes Effect. Same-sex marriages have begun in Chile after a law allowing the practice went into effect. Read more here.

 

Guatemala Congress Bans Same-Sex Marriage. Guatemala’s Congress has voted in favor of a law which prohibits same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Guatemalan President Vows to Veto Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion Bill. Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said he would veto a bill that seeks to increase abortion penalties and prohibit same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

New Egyptian Bill Recommends Psychological and Medical Tests Before Marriage. A member of the Egyptian parliament submitted to the House of Representatives a bill suggesting that medical and psychological examinations be a prerequisite for couples about to marry. Read more here.

 

Jersey Approves Civil Partnership Law for All Genders. Under a new law in Jersey, all islanders will be able to enter into a civil partnership, regardless of gender. Read more here.

 

Religious Communities in Kosovo Urge Lawmakers Not to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. A coalition of religious groups in Kosovo openly oppose same-sex marriages and are calling on the government not to touch the parts of the civil code related to marriage. Read more here.

 

Study Reveals Positive Benefits of Marriage for Men. According to the American National Family Life Survey, married men report being less lonely and having more close friends and better health than their single counterparts. Read more here.

 

Marriage Rate Falls in China. Fewer Chinese people chose to get married last year, while on average those that did postponed the age at which they tied the knot, further adding to the population crisis stemming from a plunging birth rate. Read more here.

 

Cuba Begins Public Consultation on Marriage Equality Law. Cuba’s leaders have launched a series of neighborhood meetings across the island to debate a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage and adoption. Read more here.

 

Thailand House Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bill. A draft act on same-sex marriage has been passed by the Thai House of Representatives and will be sent to the cabinet for further consideration. Read more here.

 

VA House Panel Strikes Down Effort to Remove Same-Sex Marriage Ban From Constitution. A Virginia House subcommittee struck down legislation that would have given voters a chance to decide if the state should remove a provision in the state constitution banning same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Cuba Launches Public Consultations on New Family Code. Cuba launched a three-month process to gather public input on a new Family Code which includes the legalization of same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Namibia Court Refuses to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages. A Namibian court refused to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries, citing a Supreme Court ruling that bans the practice in Namibia. Read more here.

 

Zacatecas Congress Approves Same-Sex Marriage. Lawmakers in Zacatecas, Mexico approved same-sex marriage, making it the 25th state in the country where two people of the same sex can legally marry. Read more here.

 

Namibian Churches Speak Out Against Same-Sex Marriage. The chairperson of Namibia’s Coalition of Churches and Organizations on Ethical Social Justice says the coalition is rejecting calls to legalize same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Only 18% of American Households Are Families With Married Parents. Among the 130 million households in the United States, only 17.8% feature married parents with children — down from over 40% in 1970, according to the Census Bureau. Read more here.

 

Thai Court’s Marriage Ruling Angers LGBT Activists. A statement in which Thailand’s Constitutional Court has argued that permitting same-sex marriage in the country would violate the “natural order” has angered LGBT activists. Read more here.

 

Chile Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. Chile’s Congress passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage, and the nation’s president is expected to sign it into law. Read more here.

 

Tokyo Gov Plans to Begin Official Recognition of Same-Sex Couples. The local government of Tokyo plans to officially recognize same-sex partnerships after its local assembly unanimously called for such a move. Read more here.

 

Thai Petition for Marriage Equality Gains Strength. An online petition seeking to convince lawmakers in Thailand to legalize same-sex marriage has gathered a quarter-million signatures within a few days of its launch. Read more here.

 

Chile Same-Sex Marriage Vote Delayed, Abortion Bill Shelved. Chile’s parliament postponed a vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage and shelved another to decriminalize abortion. Read more here.

 

Taiwanese-Singaporean Couple Wins Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit. A Taiwanese national and her Singaporean partner won their same-sex marriage lawsuit against Taipei’s Songshan District Household Registration Office, allowing them to officially register their marriage in Taiwan. Read more here.

 

Chilean Congress Approves Same-Sex Marriage, Adoptions. A measure to legalize marriage and adoption by same-sex couples was approved by the lower house of Chile’s Congress, moving it closer to final adoption. Read more here.

 

Thai Govt to Expedite Revision of Civil Partnership Bill for Same-Sex Couples. Following a court ruling on marriage that was seen as a setback for same-sex couples, the Thai government is expediting the revision of a draft law on civil partnerships. Read more here.

 

Russian Patriarch Says Orthodox Church Will Never Recognize Same-Sex Marriages. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow reiterated that the Orthodox Church will never recognize the cohabitation of people of the same sex as marriage. Read more here.

 

Swiss to Allow Same-Sex Weddings Starting July 2022. Following voter approval of the “Marriage for All” initiative, the Swiss government announced that same-sex couples will be able to wed in Switzerland starting July 1, 2022. Read more here.

 

NI Launches Consultation on Changes to Marriage Law. The Northern Ireland Department of Finance has launched a public consultation on changing two aspects of local marriage law. Read more here.

 

UK Judge Dismisses 28 Divorce Cases Over ‘Copy and Paste’ Applications. A UK family court judge has dismissed 28 “DIY” divorce applications created on the website iDivorces after the couples offered identical reasons for why they wanted to break up. Read more here.

 

Delhi High Court Sets Date for Hearing on Petitions Seeking Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage. The Delhi High Court in India listed various petitions seeking legal recognition and registration of same-sex marriages for final hearing on November 30. Read more here.

 

Sweden’s Royals Follow Dutch and Confirm Same-Sex Marriage Is No Bar to the Throne. Sweden’s Marshall of the Realm confirmed that a future monarch wouldn’t have to give up their royal role if they were to enter into a same-sex marriage. Read more here.

 

Approval of Same-Sex Marriage in Chile Advances. The Constitution Committee of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies has approved a bill allowing same-sex marriages in the country, another step towards the initiative’s approval. Read more here.

 

Botswana Court Reserves Judgment After State Appeals Homosexuality Ruling. Botswana’s Court of Appeal reserved judgment in a case in which the state seeks to overturn a 2019 ruling that decriminalized same-sex relations, stating that they need more time before making a determination. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Marriage Would Be Possible for Dutch Royal House, Premier Says. The Dutch crown princess can marry a person of whatever gender she chooses without forfeiting her right to the throne, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. Read more here.

 

UMC Clergy Won’t Be Forced to Perform Same-Sex Marriages, Panel Says. United Methodist clergy who oppose same-sex marriage won’t be required to officiate those ceremonies if the denomination changes its stance on LGBT issues, according to a clergy panel. Read more here.

 

LGBTQ Groups Hope Japan PM Race May Lead to Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage. LGBTQ activists are hoping that Japan may allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, becomes the country’s next prime minister. Read more here.

 

Switzerland Votes to Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal by Strong Majority. Switzerland voted to legalize civil marriage and the right to adopt children for same-sex couples by a nearly two-thirds majority. Read more here.

 

Japan’s Kono Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Discussed in Parliament. Taro Kono, the frontrunner to become Japan’s next prime minister, said he supported same-sex marriage and that the issue should be discussed in parliament. Read more here.

 

Querétaro Approves Same-Sex Marriage. The Congress of Querétaro, Mexico approved same-sex marriage with 21 of 25 lawmakers voting in favor of legalization. Read more here.

 

Kenya Bans Film for ‘Advocating Same-Sex Marriage.’ Authorities in Kenya have banned a film depicting romantic love between two men because it “propagates values that are in dissonance with [the] constitution, culture, values and norms.” Read more here.

 

Salvadoran President Rules Out Allowing Same-Sex Marriage. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said a list of constitutional reforms the government will soon send to Congress will not contain the legalization of same-sex marriage or the decriminalization of abortion. Read more here.

 

Cuba Publishes Draft Family Code That Opens Door to Same-Sex Marriage. Cuba published a draft of a new family code which defines marriage as the “voluntary union of two people,” as opposed to the current definition as the “union of a man and woman.” Read more here.

 

Benedict XVI: Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage Is a ‘Distortion of Conscience.’ Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said that the legalization of same-sex marriage in 16 European countries represents “a distortion of conscience.” Read more here.

 

Poll Shows Swiss Voters on Track to Back Same-Sex Marriage. A new poll found that 63% of Swiss voters support the upcoming “marriage for all” referendum. Read more here.

 

Church in Wales to Give Blessings for Same-Sex Marriages. Same-sex couples may now have their marriage blessed by the Church in Wales, though the church will still not marry same-sex couples. Read more here.

 

Tens of Thousands Protest for Same-Sex Marriage in Switzerland. Tens of thousands protested in Switzerland for the legalization of same-sex marriage ahead of a referendum vote on the issue later this month. Read more here.

 

Yucatán Congress Says Yes to Same-Sex Marriage. The Congress of Yucatán in Mexico approved same-sex marriage with 20 of 25 lawmakers voting in favor of the bill. Read more here.

 

The Church in Wales Set to Bless Same-Sex Unions. Same-sex marriages and civil partnerships could soon receive blessings from The Church in Wales if a new bill is passed. Read more here.

 

Colombian Supreme Court Rules Minors Can Marry an Adult Without Parental Consent. The Supreme Court of Colombia ruled that minors ages 14 and older can choose, without parental consent, legally to marry or cohabit with an adult if they have the “responsible intention” to form a family. Read more here.

 

Church of Sweden Divided Over Forcing Priests to Carry Out Same-Sex Marriages. Ahead of internal elections in September, the Church of Sweden is facing the hotly contested issue of whether to force priests to conduct same-sex marriages. Read more here.

 

Germany’s Health Minister Slams Vatican’s Same-Sex Marriage Stance. Germany’s health minister has criticized the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to bless same-sex unions. Read more here.

 

Japanese Foregoing Marriage Amid Pandemic Uncertainty. According to a demographic survey released by Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the nation’s 2020 marriage rate was the lowest it has been since the end of WWII. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Couple Married in Taiwan After Court Victory. Taiwanese national Ting Tse-yan was legally married to his partner Guzifer Leong from Macao three months after the couple won an unprecedented court victory in their same-sex marriage case. Read more here.

 

Switzerland to Vote on the Future of Marriage. On September 26, voters in Switzerland will decide on a draft law to grant civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. Read more here.

 

Just 20 Percent of 2018 Marriages in the UK Were Religious. Just one in five heterosexual marriages in 2018 were religious ceremonies, the lowest on record, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Read more here.

 

Report: 65 Percent of Israelis Publicly Support Civil Marriage. A new survey shows that 65% of Israelis support the introduction of civil marriage. Read more here.

 

UK Ministers Promote Mediation to Avert Costly Divorce Disputes. The UK Ministry of Justice is testing a plan for divorcing couples in which they get taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for mediation to settle divorce disputes and avoid the expense of lengthy court action. Read more here.

 

UK Govt Publishes Landmark Guidance on Get Refusal. The UK government has published draft legal guidance which defines withholding a get – a Jewish divorce bill – as a form of domestic abuse, giving victims greater power to take their former spouse to court. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Protestant Pastors Marry in France. France’s Protestant church marked its first wedding of same-sex pastors six years after homosexual clergy secured the right to marry. Read more here.

 

First Same-Sex Marriage Registered in Montenegro. The first same-sex marriage in Montenegro was registered one year after Montenegro became the first non-European Union country in the Balkans to legalize same-sex civil partnerships. Read more here.

 

Russia Rejects ECHR Order to Recognize Same-Sex Unions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has reaffirmed that same-sex marriages are “not allowed” under Russia’s constitution despite a European Court of Human Rights order to recognize same-sex unions. Read more here.

 

Lithuanian President Confirms He Would Not Have Signed Same-Sex Partnership Law. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has confirmed that he would not have signed a bill into law which introduces gender-neutral partnerships. Read more here.

 

Same-Sex Marriage Proponent Says Biblical Marriage Can Still Be Preached From UK Methodist Pulpits. Preaching and teaching on biblical marriage is still welcome within the Methodist Church of Britain, a leading proponent of same-sex marriage within the denomination has said. Read more here.

 

Malaysian Methodists’ Refusal to Endorse Same-Sex Marriage Puts Them at Odds With UK Church. The Methodist Church in Malaysia has broken ranks with its British counterpart by refusing to endorse same-sex marriages. Read more here.