November 16, 2007, Newsletter Issue #58: Same-Sex Civil Unions

Tip of the Week

The first same-sex union in modern history with government recognition was obtained in Denmark in 1989. France allows civil unions for same-sex couples, but does not allow same-sex couples the right to adopt. In Scandinavia, registered partnerships are nearly equal to marriage, including legal adoption rights in Sweden, and since June, also in Iceland.

New Zealand allows civil unions that provide virtually all the rights and responsibilities. Couples that have same-sex marriages from countries that allow them can have their marriages recognized as civil unions in New Zealand.Adoption by same-sex couples is, however, not legal. Prime Minister Helen Clark supports gay marriage, but will not push it.

Other countries that allow civil unions are: Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The states of Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia and the US states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow civil unions but do not support gay marriage.

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