Past Newswire Headlines


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.


UK Methodist Church Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriages. Britain’s Methodist Church announced that same-sex couples will be allowed to get married on its premises. Read more here.


Scotland Extends Civil Partnerships to Mixed-Sex Couples. Scotland passed a new law making civil partnerships available for mixed-sex couples after calls for change from campaigners. Read more here.


Church of England Bishop Calls for Blessing of Same-Sex Unions. The Bishop of Liverpool has ramped up pressure on the Church of England to allow clergy to bless same-sex relationships by making the controversial call for a “gender neutral marriage canon.” Read more here.


UK CSJ: Poor Performance of White Working-Class Pupils Due to Collapse of Marriage. The Centre for Social Justice Director of Policy Edward Davies blames the 40-year trend in falling marriage rates for underachievement among those white pupils who qualify for free school meals in Britain. Read more here.


Call to Legalize Polyandry Sparks Outrage in South Africa. South African conservatives are firing back at gender equality advocates who say the cultural practice of keeping multiple spouses should be extended to women. Read more here.


Baja California Legislature Inserts Same-Sex Marriage Into State Constitution. The Baja California legislature amended the state constitution to include same-sex marriage by a vote of 18-4. Read more here.


Pittsburgh Group Calls for Same-Sex Catholic Blessings. An organization based in Pittsburgh has called on Bishop David Zubik to offer blessings to same-sex couples. Read more here.


Mexican State of Sinaloa Approves Same-Sex Marriage. Lawmakers in the Mexican state of Sinaloa voted to legalize same-sex marriage, joining more than half of all Mexican states in making the practice legal. Read more here.


Chile’s Parliament Resumes Discussion of Same-Sex Marriage. Chile’s parliament resumed the discussion of a bill that allows same-sex marriage after President Sebastián Piñera publicly supported it and called for “urgency” of its processing. Read more here.


UK Govt Pledges to Raise Legal Age of Marriage. The government has committed to raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 in England and Wales “as soon as legislative opportunity arises.” Read more here.


German Bishop Says ‘Why Not?’ to Blessing Same-Sex Unions. A German bishop gave a nod to blessing same-sex couples, following a meeting with Pope Francis who has voiced his opposition to the practice. Read more here.


UK ‘No-Fault’ Divorce Law Delayed. The UK government’s “no-fault” divorce law, which would allow a person to divorce their spouse without having to give a reason, has been delayed until April 2022. Read more here.


Gallup Poll Reveals Record Support for Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. A Gallup poll indicates that 70% of Americans now say that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid with the same rights as traditional marriages. Read more here.


Chilean President to Push Same-Sex Marriage Bill Long Stuck in Congress. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said on Tuesday he would seek to expedite a same-sex marriage bill that has stalled in the South American nation for years. Read more here.


South African Governing Party to Rally Against Inclusion of Polyandry in Marriage Act. The ruling party in KwaZulu-Natal says it will rally its supporters in the province, the traditional leadership and the people to stand up against the inclusion of polyandry in the Marriage Act. Read more here.


Lithuania Parliament Votes Against Debating Same-Sex Partnership Bill. Lithuania’s parliament voted narrowly against debating a bill legalizing same-sex civil partnerships. Read more here.


Namibia Court Postpones Same-Sex Marriage Recognition. The high court in Windhoek, Namibia reserved judgment on whether same-sex marriages performed in other countries are recognized in Namibia. Read more here.


German Cardinal: Blessing Homosexual Relationships is ‘Blasphemy.’ German Cardinal Gerhard Müller called it an act of “blasphemy” when clergy in his country recently blessed homosexual couples in outright defiance of Church teachings. Read more here.


Delhi High Court Postpones Decision on Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage. The Delhi High Court deferred until July 6th a plea seeking recognition of same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Church of Scotland to Consider Same-Sex Marriage. Legislation which could allow ministers and deacons to conduct same-sex marriages will be among the matters considered at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Read more here.


Church May Ditch ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife.’ The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly will soon consider a proposal to erase “husband” and “wife” from its official marriage ceremony. Read more here.


Lithuania Has ‘Consensus’ to Pass Gender-Neutral Civil Partnerships. Lithuania’s ruling coalition of liberals and conservatives has agreed on passing a gender-neutral partnership law, according to the Parliament Speaker. Read more here.


Greece’s Disputed Joint Custody Law Goes Before Parliament. New legislation in Greece could grant divorced fathers equal time with their children, but the proposed change faces a strong opposition over domestic violence fears. Read more here.


‘Gray Divorce’ Becoming More Common. The divorce rate of people aged 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010 and has stayed high since then, in contrast to the overall divorce rate that has been trending downward for the past few decades. Read more here.


Japan Considers Special Residency Status for Foreigners in Same-Sex Marriages. The Japanese government is considering granting residency status to same-sex foreign spouses whose marriage to Japanese nationals has been recognized overseas. Read more here.


Marriages Decline as Divorces Increase in Greece and the EU. The number of marriages in Greece has dropped by half, and divorces have more than quadrupled in the last 50 years or so, a recent report by the European Union’s statistical agency has shown. Read more here.


UK Govt Reminds Schools of Duty to Promote Marriage. Schools in England have been reminded that there is an expectation upon them to teach children and young people the importance of marriage to society. Read more here.


German Catholics to Bless Same-Sex Unions Despite Vatican Ban. Germany’s powerful Catholic progressives are openly defying a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions by offering such blessings at services in about 100 different churches all over the country. Read more here.


Church of Scotland to Debate Legislation on Same-Sex Marriage. The upcoming Church of Scotland’s General Assembly meeting will debate legislation on allowing ministers to conduct same-sex marriages. Read more here.


South Africa Considers Legalizing Polyandry. South Africa’s marriage laws could soon allow women to marry more than one husband, just as polygamous men can have many wives. Read more here.


Taiwan Court Ruling Opens Door to Int’l Same-Sex Marriages. The Taipei High Administrative Court ruled that a same-sex marriage between a Taiwanese citizen and a Macau national should be recognized in Taiwan, opening the door to marriages with others who come from countries where same-sex marriage is illegal. Read more here.


Number of Irish Weddings Dropped by More Than Half in 2020. Data published by the Central Statistics Office shows that the number of marriages celebrated in Ireland last year fell by 53% from 2019. Read more here.


Marriage Certificates in England and Wales to Include Mothers’ Names for First Time. Marriage certificates in England and Wales will now include the names of both parents of each half of the couple, instead of only their fathers, after legal changes to the process came into force. Read more here.


Czech Lawmakers Give Nod to Same-Sex Marriage. A same-sex marriage bill in the Czech Republic cleared an early hurdle in the lower house of parliament, but whether it will become law is uncertain with a general election less than six months away. Read more here.


Texas Bill Proposes Longer Waiting Limit for Divorce. A Texas legislator has proposed a bill which would require married couples seeking a “no-fault divorce” to wait six months if they have minor or school-age children or disabled adult children. Read more here.


Switzerland to Hold Referendum on Same-Sex Marriage. Switzerland will hold a referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage, the government confirmed. Read more here.


Report: Twenty Percent of Marriages End in Divorce in Iraq. The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq said nearly 20 percent of marriages in the country end in divorce. Read more here.


BVI Legislators Say No to Same-Sex Marriage. Legislators in the British Virgin Islands have made it clear that same-sex marriage will not be accepted in the British overseas territory. Read more here.


German Catholics Plan Huge Blessing of Same-Sex Unions. Several Catholic leaders in Germany are openly supporting the blessing of same-sex couples, with a massive blessing service scheduled for May 10. Read more here.


Swiss Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Hand in Signatures for Referendum. Around 59,000 verified signatures were handed in by a committee in Bern, Switzerland demanding a national referendum on a same-sex marriage law. Read more here.


NH Adultery Definition Expanded to Include Same-Sex Couples. The New Hampshire Supreme Court has expanded the definition of adultery to include same-sex infidelity. Read more here.


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.