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Recognition of same-sex relationships

 

 

Gender-neutral marriage has been legally provided since 1 January 2009 in Norway.

A bill was proposed on 18 November 2004 by two MPs from the Socialist Left Party to abolish the existing civil union laws, and make marriage laws gender neutral. The move was withdrawn and replaced by a request that the cabinet further investigate the issue. The conservative cabinet of that time did not look into the issue. However, the second cabinet Stoltenberg announced a common, unified marriage act as part of its foundation document, the Soria Moria statement. A public hearing was opened on 16 May 2007.

On 29 May 2008, the Associated Press reported that two Norwegian opposition parties came out in favour of the new bill, assuring its passage when at 11 June vote. Prior to this, there were some disagreements with members of the current three-party governing coalition on whether the bill had enough votes to pass.

The first parliamentary hearing, including the vote, was held on 11 June 2008 approving by 84 votes to 41 a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry. This came after the Norwegian government proposed a marriage law in 14 March 2008, that would give lesbian and gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including church weddings, adoption and assisted pregnancies. The new legislation amended the definition of civil marriage to make it gender neutral. Norway's upper house passed a new equality law with 23–17 vote in favor of the gender neutral marriage. The King of Norway granted royal assent thereafter. The law took effect on 1 January 2009.

Prior to the gender neutral marriage law, a civil partnership law had been in effect since 1993. Partnerskapsloven, as it was known in Norwegian, granted many marriage rights to same-sex couples, only without calling it marriage. In 1991 unregistered same-sex cohabitation was recognized by the government for the granting of limited rights, such as being considered as next of kin for medical decisions, and in the event of wrongful death of one partner the other partner was entitled to compensation.

 

 

 

 

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