May 11, 2007, Newsletter Issue #32: International Requirements for Gay Marriages

Tip of the Week

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.

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