For many, it will be their first chance to access any kind of contraception, empowering them to stay in education, forge a career, stay healthy and pursue their hopes and dreams for the future. The Netherlands In December , the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a three-to-one margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice. However, the law prohibits same-sex weddings within the Church of England, which continues to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Its parliament had passed the measure legalizing gay marriage earlier in Priscilla Nabatanzi, a youth project office for Reproductive Health Uganda, said it was important that young people were listened to, which means including them in the design and implementation of programmes. Ireland On May 22, , Catholic-majority Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular referendum. Support for the law came from both the Flemish-speaking North and the French-speaking South, and the law generated surprisingly little controversy across the country. Finland becomes the last of the five Nordic countries to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The law grants same-sex couples who marry all the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. The new measure passed by a margin of greater than five-to-one, with support coming from both the governing African National Congress as well as the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. A decade later, the parliament passed a measure allowing gay couples to adopt children. Norway Since January , gay couples in Norway legally have been able to marry, adopt children and undergo artificial insemination. The day before, the measure had won final passage in the British Parliament after months of debate. The measure not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also allows for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Same-sex couples could register with a city clerk and formally assume joint responsibility for a household. In , New Zealand enacted legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The high court ruled that the lower court judges lacked legal standing to bring the suits. Germany On June 30, , Germany became the 15th European country to enact legislation allowing same-sex couples to wed. In , Denmark became the first country to allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners. The decision gave same-sex couples the right to seek a court injunction against state laws banning gay marriage; although it did not technically legalize same-sex unions nationwide, it was a major step in that direction. Those provisions were broadened in to allow any same-sex couple to marry as long as one member of the couple had lived in Belgium for at least three months. The measure was enacted into law a few days later when Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the bill. Sweden In April , the Swedish parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to legalize same-sex marriage. True to their campaign promises, Hollande and the Socialists have pushed through a law that not only legalizes same-sex marriage but also gives gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children—a provision that has drawn especially strong criticism from French Catholic leaders. A Pew Research Center study on the global religious landscape as of found that roughly four-in-ten Uruguayans are unaffiliated with a particular religion. Iceland had allowed same-sex couples to register as domestic partners since The two largest churches in Scotland — the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church — oppose same-sex marriage and lobbied against the bill. Since the beginning of , several anti-gay marriage protests with occasionally volatile crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands have taken place in Paris and elsewhere. The Netherlands In December , the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage when the Dutch parliament passed, by a three-to-one margin, a landmark bill allowing the practice.
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