LGBT rights in Norway
|LGBT rights in Norway|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1972|
|Gender identity/expression||Transsexual persons allowed to change legal gender|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly|
|Discrimination protections||(see below)|
|Registered partnerships from 1993–2009*
Same-sex marriage since 2009
*Existing partnerships remain valid, but no new partnerships accepted
|Adoption||Married and committed same-sex couples allowed to adopt|
Norway, like most of Scandinavia, is very liberal in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights and it also became the first country in the world to enact an anti-discrimination law protecting homosexuals in certain areas. Not only that, same-sex marriage, adoption, and IVF/assisted insemination treatment for lesbian couples has been legal since 2009.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
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 The move was withdrawn and replaced by a request that the cabinet further investigate the issue.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.
Adoption and family planning
Married and committed same-sex couples are permitted to adopt under Norwegian law. Stepchild adoption is also allowed for all married and committed couples. For lesbians artificial insemination is available.
Additionally—pursuant to the law which legalized same-sex marriage—when a woman who is married to or in a stable co-habiting relationship with another woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination, the other partner will have all the rights and duties of parenthood "from the moment of conception".
Homosexuals can serve openly in the Armed Forces. They have had full rights and anti-discrimination protections since 1979.
In 1981, Norway became the first country in the world to enact a law to prevent discrimination against homosexuals by amending Paragraph 349a of its Penal Code, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods or services and in access to public gatherings. In the same year, Paragraph 135a of the Penal Code was amended to prohibit hate speech directed at sexual minorities.
- "State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- (Norwegian) Almindelig borgerlig Straffelov (Straffeloven)
- AVCATHERINE STEIN . "Same sex marriage law passed by wide majority". Aftenposten.no. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Norway" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "60 års homokamp: Stå oppreist og samlet". regjeringen.no. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Fact Sheet: Nationwide Legal Protection From Discriminatiion Based On Sexual Orientation". France.qrd.org. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Gay Guide: Norway gaytimes.co.uk. July 14, 2012.
- Gay Oslo visitoslo.com. July 14, 2012.
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