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.