Faroe Islands’ Same-sex Marriage Bill Receives Royal Assent

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A same-sex marriage bill from the Faroe Islands was given Royal Assent on May 3rd in Denmark.

This ends the legislation’s one year journey from the islands to Danish Parliament and same-sex weddings can begin for the Faroese once a date is chosen by the Danish Justice Minister.

The bill ratified and promulgated this month in Denmark repeals a section of the 2012 Danish marriage law which excluded its constituent territories of Greenland and Faroe Islands from having to perform same-sex weddings. The bill also contains provisions that will give full adoption rights to all Faroese couples.

Greenland previously copied Denmark’s gender-neutral wording into their matrimonial laws in 2016, while the Faroese Parliament mirrored most of Denmark’s legislation but included a clause that does not allow same-sex couples to marry in the local Church, making it the only region of the Danish Kingdom to do so. This exemption was added to guarantee the bill’s approval on the islands after fierce parliamentary debates.

Same-sex weddings are expected to begin in the Faroe Islands in the coming weeks.

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Same-sex Couples Can Now Marry on the Island of Guernsey

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On May 2nd, the largest island in the Bailiwick of Guernsey officially extended the right to marry to all couples and applications for weddings have been accepted since then.

After first voting for equal marriage rights in principle in December of 2015, the States of Guernsey voted for a draft same-sex marriage bill in September of 2016 that received Royal Assent last December.

The final step required, an ordinance of commencement, was approved in April 2017 and came into effect on Tuesday and allows for couples to hold weddings starting Thursday.

Although the largest island in the bailiwick, Guernsey, allows same-sex marriage, the other two jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark do not.

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Alderney recognizes overseas marriages for purposes such as those of inheritance matters and is considering their own marriage bill. There is no news on when Sark will consider the motion.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in all of Guernsey, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Guernsey

Peruvian Congress Votes to Remove LGBT from Hate Crime Legislation

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After a heated debate extending into early Friday, politicians in Peru voted 66-29 to remove LGBT from the hate crime legislation brought into law through a Presidential Decree earlier this year.

For the first 90 days of his tenure, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Party For Change, was granted the customary permission by Congress to tackle several of Peru’s issues via decree and took advantage of that right to extend the scope of what registers as a hate crime in the existing Peruvian Penal Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity. His decree came into effect in January of 2017.

Members of the largest party in Congress, Popular Force, whose leader narrowly lost to Kuczynksi in the last Presidential race, were joined by members of the Alliance For Progress in pushing the vote to repeal the section of the decree protecting LGBT from discrimination, persecution and incitement to hatred after claiming that the President was not assigned the power to take this step.

The topic became a controversial one after more than a million signatures were said to be added to a petition calling for the removal of the LGBT terms in the new Penal Code. A Constitutional Committee previously voted in April in favor of a repeal and sent the motion to the plenary where conservative parties hold a majority of seats.

Following Friday’s vote, Peru returns to being one of three South American countries with no anti-discrimination laws covering its LGBT population along with Paraguay and Guyana.

Danish Parliament Ratifies Faroe Islands’ Same-sex Marriage Law

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Danish Parliament held its final reading today on same-sex marriage legislation from the Faroe Islands.

The final vote in Copenhagen comes a year after Faroese Parliament voted to extend the right to marry to all couples and then passed the baton to Denmark. Provisions of the Faroese bill also allow full adoption rights for same-sex couples.

On a vote of 108-0, Denmark gave their ceremonial blessing to incorporating their own equal marriage laws into the islands. As a reading in Danish Parliament requires only 91 MPs to reach a quorum, the remaining MPs in the 179-seat Parliament were not present since it was not required due to the Danes respecting Faroese opinion on most civil matters.

Although it is simply a formality, Danish ratification on the matter was necessary to repeal a section of Denmark’s 2012 marriage legislation that barred their constituent territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands from having to perform same-sex weddings. In its place will be a gender-neutral definition of marriage without territorial conditions that will be adopted into Faroese law as it was in Greenland in 2016.

According to the Danish Parliamentary website, Denmark will now allow the Faroese to marry after a two-step process following this week’s vote.

Today’s bill focuses on the international recognition of same-sex marriages and will enter into force following Royal Assent and a date chosen by the Justice Minister. For all remaining matters regarding marriage, a Royal Decree will be issued in the near future.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in the Faroe Islands, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Faroe_Islands

Mexico: Citing Civil Registry Mix Up, Chihuahua’s Governor Announces That Same-sex Couples Can Cannot Be Denied a Marriage License

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Days after it was reported that authorities in Chihuahua told same-sex couples that court injunctions would once again be required to marry inside the state, the Governor issued a statement declaring that under no circumstances can these couples be denied a marriage license.

The Governor told the media that the right to marry is a settled matter before the Supreme Court and claims to have personally stepped in to stop the confusion at the Civil Registry. The head of state denied reports that his predecessor’s 2015 executive order allowing Chihuahua to issue marriage licenses freely had been overturned.

Following the continuation of same-sex weddings in the area, Chihuahua once again joins Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, and Quintana Roo in allowing same-sex couples to marry without court action.

Although deemed unconstitutional by rights groups quoting a past Supreme Court ruling because it does not also include the right to marry, the state of Tlaxcala allows civil unions for same-sex couples.

All remaining Mexican states require a lawsuit to wed and every state in Mexico must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in the country.

For more information on Mexico’s road to same-sex marriage, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Mexico

Falkland Islands Says Yes to Same-sex Marriage

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Last March, on a vote of 7-1, the Falkland Islands’ Legislative Assembly approved gender-neutral marriage and civil partnership legislation which made the islands the latest addition in a growing list of British Overseas Territories to extend these rights to all couples.

The bill guarantees couples in civil partnerships the same parental rights as married couples and notes that “parents to a child may be two mothers or two fathers”.

Falkland couples will be able to enter a civil partnership or marry once the bill receives Royal Assent and a date of enactment is chosen by the Governor.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation on the Falkland Islands, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Falkland_Islands.

Mexico: Chihuahua Halts Same-sex Marriages

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This week, Chihuahua’s Civil Registry halted the free celebration of same-sex marriages in the nation’s largest state.

The news came as several couples were told by the Registry that court injunctions will once again be required in order to marry within the state. This move ends the executive order issued in 2015 by the previous Governor allowing same-sex weddings freely.

LGBT activists blasted the reversal of the 2015 order and accused Chihuahua’s new Governor and his administration of bowing to pressure from conservative “For the Family” groups.

Activists will attempt to speak with the head of the Civil Registry and the Governor in hopes of resolving the matter promptly.

Previously, Chihuahua joined Mexico City and the states of Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Guerrero (most municipalities), Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, and Quintana Roo in marrying couples without a court order. The state of Tlaxcala approved civil unions for same-sex couples despite a past Supreme Court ruling that separate is not equal.

Although the remaining Mexican states must recognize all marriages conducted in the country, court injunctions to wed in those remaining states themselves are expensive and time-consuming.

For more information on Mexico’s same-sex marriage journey, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Mexico