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.

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

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

Danish Parliament Begins Process of Ratifying Faroes Islands’ Same-sex Marriage Law

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Almost a year after the Faroese Parliament approved a same-sex marriage and adoption bill, Danish Parliament held its first reading February 28th on legislation that would allow the Faroese law to come into effect.

Ratification from Denmark on the Faroese marriage legislation is seen as only a formality, but is required as the 2012 equal marriage law in Denmark, which is the basis for the Faroese same-sex marriage bill, states that none of the Danish constituent territories would be affected by the 2012 law.

The ratification process essentially repeals the clause making the Faroe Islands an exception to adopting Denmark’s same-sex marriage legislation and replaces local laws with gender-neutral wording which affords all couples the right to marry. Provisions within the marriage bill also allow for full adoption rights in the Faroes.

Danish Parliament will approach the ratification process in several steps. One step is to allow same-sex marriages to be held on the Faroe Islands through a Royal Decree and the other is to update the Faroese Procedural Code to mirror Denmark’s and allow for divorce for same-sex couples; the latter being the bill first mentioned in this article which requires two more readings from the Danes and Royal Assent.

Same-sex weddings on the islands should occur not long after the ratification process is completed in the future.