Older Articles on Marriage


PERUVIAN COURT OPENS DOOR TO LEGALLY RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX COUPLES. A Peruvian high court has ordered same-sex unions to be legally registered in public records, marking a victory for the LGBTQ community in a country that has been reluctant to recognize homosexual couples. Read more here.


UK STUDY FINDS UNMARRIED PARENTS FAR MORE LIKELY TO SPLIT BEFORE THEIR CHILDREN BECOME TEENAGERS. According to a report published by the UK Marriage Foundation, parents who cohabit but never marry are far more likely to split up before their child becomes a teenager. The study found that 46 per cent of 14-year-olds in the UK are no longer living with both natural parents. Read more here.


LEGISLATORS IN NAMIBIA VOTE ON A LAW AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Namibia’s upper house of Parliament passed a law banning same-sex marriage and punishing supporters, contradicting a judgment by its Supreme Court’s authorization of the recognition of certain unions contracted abroad. Read more here.


MALAWI RELIGIOUS LEADERS PROTEST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Hundreds of protesters from both of the country’s major religions—Christianity and Islam— gathered in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, to protest what they call the potential legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. Read more here.


BRITISH SOCIAL WORKER LOSES JOB OFFER OVER CHRISTIAN VIEW OF MARRIAGE. Felix Ngole, who previously won a landmark free speech case over his belief in Christian marriage, had a job offer withdrawn by Wakefield Hospital unless he embraced and promoted homosexual rights. Read more here.


Study finds 45 years of teens shifting views on marriage, family, and work. The study reports that today’s young adults are delaying marriage and parenthood compared to just a few decades ago, due to a lengthening of the transition to adulthood that has occurred in recent years. Read more here.


House Republican plan penalizes marriage. A record-high 25 percent of 40-year-olds in the U.S. were never married in 2021, according to the Pew Research Center, and a new tax proposal put forward by Republicans in the U.S. House would penalize marriage and subsidize cohabitation. Read more here.


Shaningwa scolds Kawana over accepting Namibia same-sex judgement. Sophia Shaningwa, secretary general of the South West African People’s Organization, confronted Albert Kawana, the minister of home affairs, immigration, safety, and security in Namibia, regarding his failure to table a motion to modify the definition of the term “spouse” in the Immigration Control Act. Read more here.


Czech lawmakers give first nod to same-sex marriage bill, opposition ahead. The Czech parliament’s lower house gave initial approval to a bill to allow same-sex marriages, though conservative lawmakers signaled it could still face opposition and possible changes in further debates. Read more here.


Namibian government bows to same-sex marriage judgement. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security says it will comply with a Supreme Court judgement that Namibia must recognize two same-sex couples’ marriages that took place lawfully outside the country. Read more here.


How Michigan could reconsider a 2004 move to ban same-sex marriage. House Joint Resolution F would strike from the state constitution wording explicitly restricting marriage to a man and woman, but the redefining of marriage would still require a two-thirds majority vote in the state House and passage of a state ballot proposition. Read more here.


Estonia could become first Baltic state to legalize same-sex marriage. A vote on the issue will be held next week, just shy of a decade since the nation introduced same-sex civil unions. Read more here.


Effort to excise California same-sex marriage ban heats up. From state lawmakers to local elected officials, there has been a groundswell of support in recent days to repeal Proposition 8’s “zombie language” from state statutes. Read more here.


How people in 24 countries view same-sex marriage. A new Pew Research Center survey of 24 countries found that support for legal same-sex marriage is highest in Sweden, where 92 percent of adults favor it, and lowest in Nigeria, where only 2 percent back it. Read more here.


Former President Rüütel: Same-sex marriage would polarize Estonian society. Changing marriage law in the nation should not be made without the strong backing of our citizenry, and same-sex marriage is not legal in the Baltic states, the ex-leader stated. Read more here.


The Iowa couple behind the state’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling in 2009 now worry about the future of that law. Following the proposal of two Iowa bills targeting same-sex marriage, the couple (Kate and Trish Varnum) whose lawsuit previously overturned Iowa’s marriage law barring same-sex marriage have renewed fears about how long those rights will last. Read more here.


Three courts in Japan ruled the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but the nation’s lawmakers are reluctant to legalize it. Two courts opposed same-sex marriage, and the ruling party in Parliament has a reputation for leaning towards more conservative. Read more here.


Ukraine obliged to recognize same-sex relationships. A court case between a Ukrainian same-sex couple and the Ukrainian state has resulted in the European Court of Human Rights ruling that Ukraine is violating human rights by not recognizing same-sex relationships. Read more here.


Czech Parliament Divided About Same-Sex Marriage. The Czech parliament was not able to decide whether the present civil partnership should be broadened to same-sex marriage. Read more here.


European Rights Court Rules Against Ukraine in Same-Sex Union Case. A same-sex couple who tried unsuccessfully to get married at seven different register offices in Ukraine suffered discrimination, the European Court of Human Rights ruled. Read more here.


Japan Gov’t Should Move Quickly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Citing a court ruling banning same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the Japanese publication Mainichi called it a “harsh and continuous rebuke of Japan’s current lack of recognition for same-sex couples.” Read more here.


Thailand’s Move Forward Party Prioritizes Marriage. The Move Forward Party that won a majority in last month’s election is prioritizing a same-sex marriage bill with the support of Thailand’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Pita Limjaroenrat. If he can form a new government. Read more here.


Japanese Court Rules Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional. The Nagoya District Court in Japan ruled that the nation’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Read more here.


Namibian Govt Seeks Legal Advice on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. The Namibian government is conducting a legal assessment on the recent Supreme Court ruling directing it to recognize same-sex marriages validly concluded abroad before deciding on a course of action. Read more here.


South Korea’s First-Ever Same-Sex Marriage Bill Goes to Parliament. Lawmakers in South Korea have proposed the country’s first same-sex marriage bill which seeks to amend the country’s civil code to recognize marriage between people of the same sex. Read more here.


Romania Fails to Uphold Rights of Same-Sex Couples, EU Court Rules. Romania has failed to enforce the rights of same-sex couples by refusing to recognize their relationships, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Read more here.


Lithuania and Estonia Move Toward Expanding Marriage Rights of Same-Sex Couples. The legislative bodies of Estonia and Lithuania are considering bills to legalize civil unions and marriage rights for same-sex couples. Read more here.


Biden Admin Pushes Same-Sex Marriage as a Binding Human Right. The Biden administration is pressing countries to adopt homosexual marriage as a human right, claiming it is required “to guarantee equal protection under the law for members of same-sex couples.” Read more here.


Namibia’s Top Court Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Formed Elsewhere. Namibia’s Supreme Court ruled that the government must recognize the unions of same-sex couples who married in countries where it was legal for them to do so, even though same-sex marriage remains illegal in Namibia itself. Read more here.


India’s Supreme Court Reserves Verdict on Legal Status of Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court of India reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking the right to marriage for members of the LGBT community under the Special Marriage Act. Read more here.


Estonia’s ‘Marriage Equality’ Bill Completed and Awaiting Feedback. Estonia’s Ministry of Social Affairs is presenting draft legislation to allow two adult persons to get married irrespective of their gender. Read more here.


Nepal Supreme Court Orders Govt to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage. The Supreme Court of Nepal instructed the government to legally recognize same-sex marriage and recommended a five-step plan to allow same-sex couples to get married. Read more here.


U.S. Study Shows Living Together Before Marriage Increases Likelihood of Divorce. Couples who lived together before marriage were 48 percent more likely to divorce than couples who moved in together after being engaged or married, according to a new study. Read more here.


India Same-Sex Marriage Hearing Enters Day Two. The Indian Supreme Court’s hearing into a number of petitions seeking to legalize same-sex marriage has entered its second day, with the hearings are being “livestreamed in public interest.” Read more here.


India Constitution Bench Formed in Same-Sex Marriage Case. The Supreme Court of India announced the formation of a new Constitution Bench to hear a series of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Three Couples Take Lithuania to Court Over Failure to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships. Three couples are taking the Lithuanian state to court over its failure to legally recognize same-sex partnerships and marriages. Read more here.


South Korean Marriages Slide to Record Low. South Korean marriages fell to a new record low last year, a warning sign that the world’s lowest fertility rate may fall even further. Read more here.


India’s Top Court Refers Same-Sex Marriage Recognition Case to Five-Judge Bench. India’s Supreme Court announced that a five-judge bench will start hearing final arguments on April 18 over granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Indian Govt Declares Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in Supreme Court Case. The Indian government declared its opposition to same-sex marriage in a Supreme Court case that involves the legal challenges of four same-sex couples. Read more here.


Ukrainian MP Submits Draft Law on Same-Sex Partnerships. Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun submitted a draft law to Parliament which would grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual spouses. Read more here.


Japanese PM: Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Not Unconstitutional. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reiterated his position that a ban on same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional and does not constitute discrimination. Read more here.


Panama’s Supreme Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage. Panama’s Supreme Court has ruled against same-sex marriages, saying the practice is not a human right; therefore, the country does not recognize such unions. Read more here.


Iowa Lawmakers Propose Ending Same-Sex Marriage Recognition. Iowa legislators introduced a measure that seeks to end state recognition of same-sex marriages through an amendment to the state constitution. Read more here.


More Marriages in Holland, Fewer Registered Partnerships. The number of marriages in the Netherlands increased in 2022 while the number of registered partnerships decreased during the same period. Read more here.


Majority of British Women Remain Unmarried by the Age of 34. The once-in-a-decade census revealed that a majority of British women in every age group from 16- to 34-years-old have remained unmarried while the number of people overall getting married has fallen to its lowest level on record, the Office for National Statistics announced. Read more here.


African Anglican Leaders Threaten Split From CofE Over Same-Sex Union Blessing. Anglican leaders of Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are considering a split from the Church of England after church leadership voted to allow Anglican clergy to bless same-sex civil unions. Read more here.


California Bill Aims to Codify Right to Same-Sex Marriage in State Constitution. California lawmakers introduced legislation to rescind Proposition 8, a 2008 law that banned the state from recognizing same-sex marriages. Read more here.


Archbishop Says MPs Tried to Force Same-Sex Marriage on Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, has spoken of being “threatened with parliamentary action” in an attempt to “force same-sex marriage” into the Church of England. Read more here.


Poll: 64 Percent Favor Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage in Japan. Sixty-four percent of respondents to a Kyodo News poll believe same-sex marriage should be recognized in Japan. Read more here.


Church of England Approves ‘Prayers for God’s Blessing’ on Same-Sex Couples. The General Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of offering prayers for God’s blessing on same-sex couples following two days of extensive debate. Read more here.


Lifelong Marriage Associated With Lower Risk of Dementia, Study Finds. A new study has found that continuous marriage, particularly through the middle decades of life, lowers the risk of developing dementia, Neuroscience News reported. Read more here.


India Court Transfers Same-Sex Marriage Petitions to Supreme Court. The Delhi High Court transferred to the Supreme Court multiple petitions seeking legal recognition of same sex-marriage under various matrimonial statutes. Read more here.


Japanese PM Cautious About Same-Sex Marriage. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is striking a cautious tone about legally recognizing same-sex marriage in line with other Group of Seven countries that have already adopted the practice. Read more here.


ECHR Orders Russia to Allow Same-Sex Unions. The European Court of Human Rights ordered Moscow to recognize same-sex unions, ruling that countries have an obligation to make the legal protections of marriage available to same-sex couples. Read more here.


Church of England Bishops Slated to Uphold Ban on Same-Sex Marriage. Bishops in the Church of England are slated to uphold the institution’s formal teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman during their general synod in London next month. Read more here.


Peru’s Parliament Rejects Same-Sex Marriage. Peru’s parliamentary justice committee has rejected a legislative initiative that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry. Read more here.


‘Pride’ March in India Includes Call for Same-Sex Marriage Rights. Hundreds of people took part in the Delhi “Queer Pride” march to show their support for the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India. Read more here.


Taiwan-Hong Kong Couple Wins Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit.  A Taiwanese woman and her female Hong Kong partner won their marriage lawsuit as a court in Taipei ordered their household registration office to reinstate the marriage registration of the cross-national same-sex couple. Read more here.


India’s Supreme Court Asked to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. Four same-sex couples have asked India’s Supreme Court to recognize same-sex marriages, setting the stage for a legal face-off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government which has in the past refused to legalize such marriages. Read more here.


Biden Signs Bill Codifying Same-Sex Marriage. President Joe Biden hosted a signing ceremony where he codified legal protections for same-sex marriage. Afterward, the White House was lit in rainbow colors. Read more here.


Plaintiffs Appeal Tokyo Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage. Plaintiffs appealed a Tokyo court ruling that concluded the Japanese government’s ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional. Read more here.


Parliament OKs Changes to Japan’s System for Recognizing Paternity After Divorce. That Japanese Parliament enacted legal changes that would allow the new husband of a remarried woman to assume paternity of children born within 300 days of divorce from her previous partner. Read more here.


U.S. House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill. The House of Representatives with bipartisan support passed legislation that would codify same-sex marriage protections, and the measure now goes to President Biden’s desk for final approval. Read more here.


U.S. Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill. U.S. senators advanced legislation that would codify same-sex marriage protections into law, despite opposition from most GOP lawmakers who argue the bill’s language infringes on religious freedom. Read more here.


Japanese Court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage. A Japanese court declared a ban on same-sex marriage constitutional, citing the Japanese constitutional definition of marriage as a “union of mutual consent between the two sexes.” Read more here.


India’s Top Court to Consider Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. India’s Supreme Court has agreed to examine a petition that seeks legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Poll Shows Same-Sex Marriage Bill Unpopular Among U.S. Voters. Only 41 percent of U.S. voters support the Respect for Marriage Act, compared to 47 percent who oppose it, according to a recent poll. Read more here.


Slovenia Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional. Slovenia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a ban on same-sex couples marrying and adopting was unconstitutional, forcing a change in the law. Read more here.


U.S. Senate Clears Hurdle to Move Same-Sex Marriage Bill Toward Final Passage. The Senate cleared a key procedural hurdle to move forward the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that will codify same-sex marriage into federal law. Read more here.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Comes Out in Support of Proposed U.S. Law Protecting Same-Sex Marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave its support to a proposed federal law that would recognize all legal marriages and codify marriages between same-sex couples. Read more here.


Taiwanese Court to Hear Debate on Legal Grounds for Divorce. Taiwan’s Constitutional Court will hear arguments on whether an article in the Civil Code limiting the circumstances in which couples can file for divorce violates the constitution’s protection of individual freedoms. Read more here.


Polish Top Court Says Constitution Doesn’t Ban Same-Sex Marriage. Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the nation’s constitution does not rule out the possibility of legislation on same-sex unions. Read more here.


Bishop of Oxford Calls for Church of England to Accept Same-Sex Marriage. In a landmark declaration, the Bishop of Oxford has become the most senior Church of England cleric to back same-sex marriage. Read more here.


Tokyo Starts Recognizing Same-Sex Relationships. Tokyo began issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples who live and work in the capital, allowing LGBT partners to be treated as married couples for some public services in areas such as housing, medicine and welfare. Read more here.


Final Mexican State Approves Same-Sex Marriage. Mexico’s northeastern border state of Tamaulipas voted to recognize same-sex marriage, making the practice legal in every district across the country. Read more here.


Same-Sex Marriage Approved in Tabasco. The Mexican state of Tabasco has approved same-sex marriage, changing its civil code to redefine marriage as “the free union of two people, over 18 years of age, regardless of gender.” Read more here.


Mexico’s Most Populous State Approves Same-Sex Marriage. The congress of Mexico’s most populous state, State of Mexico, voted overwhelmingly to legally recognize same-sex marriage, becoming the 29th of Mexico’s 32 states to do so. Read more here.


Tokyo Starts Accepting Same-Sex Partnership Applications. The Tokyo metropolitan government began accepting applications from “sexual minorities” to have their partnerships publicly recognized ahead of the program’s launch on November 1. Read more here.


Slovenia Approves Reform of Family Code, Allows Same-Sex Marriage. The Slovenian National Assembly approved a reform of the Family Code which now provides for marriage between same-sex couples and allows them to adopt. Read more here.


BVI Christian Council Appeals Court’s Judgement on Same-Sex Marriage. The BVI Christian Council has been granted permission to appeal a recent judgment concerning marriage between a same-sex couple in the British Virgin Islands. Read more here.


UK Divorce Applications Soar as No-Fault Law Takes Effect. Divorce applications have reached their highest level in a decade after no-fault legislation was introduced in England and Wales, figures show. Read more here.


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.


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.


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.