Gay Marriage Laws Tips
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What are the laws in Canada?
Canada passed laws legalizing gay marriage nationwide in 2005, but laws still vary from state to state in Canada . Same-sex marriage has been legal in some areas of Canada since 2003.
Canada does not have a residency requirement for same sex marriage. Couples need to obtain a marriage license from the local authorities, which requires photo ID for both partners and a small fee (usually around $100). Both partners need to satisfy the age requirement, which is 18 in most areas and 17 in British Columbia . There is no waiting period. The ceremony needs two witnesses, but information on gay marriage in Canada notes that these can often be provided from anyone hanging around city hall.
How do we go about getting married once we have approval?
In Belgium, the Netherlands and areas in Spain , couples have to satisfy a residency requirement before a marriage license can be issued. If one of the couple is not a resident, or for the Netherlands, has not lived in the country for three months or longer, a certificate cannot be issued. The ceremony then follows normal local procedures.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, gay couples applying for same sex marriage need to file a Notice of Intent to Marry in any local government office. There is a three-day waiting period before the license will be issued. Couples should be aware that same sex marriage licenses will only be provided to couples whose home state does not have a ban on gay marriage.
Canada does not have a residency requirement for same sex marriage. Couples need to obtain a marriage licence from the local authorities, which requires photo ID for both partners and a small fee (usually around $100). There is no waiting period but the laws of a couple's home state will apply if the couple want their marriage recognised at home.
Once a gay marriage license has been granted, couples need to organize their own ceremony, which involves the hiring of a celebrant, organizing of venues, legal arrangements, scheduling, and, of course, gay wedding rings.
What do we get from getting married?
Gay marriage does not entitle couples to the same benefits as heterosexual marriage in most countries. Part of the reasoning behind the struggle for gay marriage to be legalized is to ensure gay couples have gay marriage rights, such as inheritance rights, property rights and next-of-kin rights in the event one partner becomes ill.
In Canada, as well as gaining rights through marriage, cohabiting same-sex couples are entitled to many of the same legal and financial benefits as married opposite-sex couples.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, gay marriage and opposite-sex marriage is equal apart from rights to children. Only biological or formally adoptive parents have parental rights, meaning that the non-biological parent of the child must formally adopt their spouse's child, even if the child was born during the marriage.
What are the laws in Spain?
Spain approved gay marriage in 2004. Requirements for same sex marriage in Spain are roughly the same as for opposite-sex marriage:
- If you have been divorced or are widowed, you need to show proof, such as a death certificate, or divorce decree.
- They must have the Apostille (official seal) of the Hague and be translated into Spanish.
- Couples applying for a gay marriage license need to show their original birth certificates and passports as well as a Consular Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage from their home country's consul in Spain . This is a sworn statement that certifies both partners are free to marry.
- Other documents required are an application to marry, a Consular Registration Certificate, a Certificate of Residence, a Certificate of Consular Inscription.
In some areas the traditional posting of bans must also be observed, which is usually a period of some weeks to allow protests against the marriage to be filed. Spain
has a waiting period of 21 days once the marriage license has been approved.
What are the laws in the UK?
The United Kingdom does not permit gay marriage and does not currently recognize same sex marriages performed in other countries. However, gay couples in the UK can enter into a civil partnership, which entitles them to many of the same benefits as marriage.
Couples who want to form a partnership must register their intentions with local councils. Unlike the rules for opposite-sex marriages, the signing of partnership papers for a civil union doesn't need to happen in public.
There has been a wide argument by gay rights activists that civil unions and civil partnerships are another way to separate gay couples from mainstream society. However, civil partnerships in the UK , introduced at the end of 2005, were widely publicised as 'same sex marriage', with many of the couples undergoing civil unions reporting themselves to be married.
What ist the history of gay marriage law in the US?
The fight for legalizing gay marriage in America has mostly been conducted through the courts. Here is a quick history of the US laws from various states:
- Connecticut was the fifth US state to allow civil unions, and the first to do it without judicial intervention.
- Maryland has an appeal in process to allow gay marriage due to begin hearing December 2006.
- New York doesn't have gay marriage laws, but five separate suits have been filed seeking same-sex marriage. Four of these failed and one succeeded at the trial level. That case was stayed and later reversed.
- In Oregon in 2004 and 2005, two counties began to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. The state Supreme Court ruled that the counties had acted against the state's constitution and voided the marriages. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the marriages were invalid as the county had acted against the state's constitution.Oregonians voted 57% to 43% to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between one man and one woman. However, law allowing same-sex civil unions was introduced.
- Washington state currently bans marriage with the Defence of Marriage Act 1998, but the legislation is open to a challenge to allow same-sex marriage in law.
What countries ban gay marriage?
Nineteen states in America have passed a gay marriage amendment, constitutionally banning same sex marriage. A total of 43 American states have effectively banned gay marriage, altering marriage legislation to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Latvia enforced a ban on gay marriage in 2005, and Nigeria passed a bill banning gay marriage in 2006. Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries around the world, including Afghanistan, India, Iran, and many countries in Africa.