Recognition of same-sex unions in Europe
|Legal recognition of
*Not yet in effect
Currently 24 of the 50 countries and 4 of the 6 dependent territories in Europe recognize some type of same-sex unions, among them a majority of members of the European Union. Eleven European countries legally recognize same-sex marriage, namely Belgium, Denmark,[nb 1] France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,[nb 2] Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.[nb 3] An additional thirteen countries have a form of civil union or unregistered cohabitation, as do four dependent territories. San Marino only allows immigration and cohabitation of a citizen's partner. Several countries are currently considering same-sex union recognition.
|Country||in force since||notes|
|1||Netherlands||1 April 2001||
|2||Belgium||1 June 2003|
|3||Spain||3 July 2005|
|4||Norway||1 January 2009||
|5||Sweden||1 May 2009||
|6||Portugal||5 June 2010|
|7||Iceland||27 June 2010||
|8||Denmark||15 June 2012||
|9||France||18 May 2013|
|10||United Kingdom||13 March 2014||
|11||Luxembourg||1 January 2015|
|Jurisdiction||in force since||notes|
(constituent country of Denmark)
|26 April 1996||
|2||Netherlands||1 January 1998||
|3||France||15 November 1999||
|4||Belgium||1 January 2000||
|5||Germany||1 August 2001||
|6||Finland||1 March 2002||
|7||Luxembourg||1 November 2004||
|8||Andorra||23 March 2005||
|9||United Kingdom||5 December 2005||
|10||Czech Republic||1 July 2006||
|11||Slovenia||23 July 2006||
|12||Switzerland||1 January 2007||
|13||Hungary||1 July 2009||
|14 ||Austria||1 January 2010||
|15||Ireland||1 January 2011||
|16|| Isle of Man
(British Crown Dependency)
|6 April 2011||
|17||Liechtenstein||1 September 2011||
(British Crown Dependency)
|2 April 2012||
(British Overseas Territory)
|28 March 2014||
|20||Malta||13 June 2014||
|21||Croatia||5 August 2014||
Austria: The opposition party The Greens - The Green Alternative submitted a bill to the National Council on 20 November 2013. It was sent to the Judiciary Committee on 17 December 2013. On 25 June 2014 the Judiciary Committee postponed consideration of the bill.
Finland: A citizens' initiative by the Tahdon2013 campaign received the required number of signatures for a bill to be considered by parliament. The collection of signatures ended in September 2013. The bill was submitted to parliament on 13 December 2013. On 20 February 2014 a debate was held and the bill was sent to the Legal Affairs Committee. On 25 June, the bill was rejected by the committee on a vote of 10-6. The bill will now face a final vote in the Parliament some time in Autumn.
Germany: The opposition party The Left submitted a bill to the Federal Diet on 23 October 2013. It had its first reading on 19 December 2013.
Jersey: On 28 May 2014 the deputy Sam Mezec of the Reform Jersey party submitted a proposition asking the Assembly of the States of Jersey to support, in principle, the legalisation of same-sex marriage and to request the Chief Minister to prepare the necessary draft legislation to give effect to the proposal. On 8 July 2014, the Assembly voted for the amendment to the proposal, introduced by Senator Ian Le Marquand, to request the Chief Minister to present a detailed study into the effects of allowing same-sex marriage by 31 December 2014. The amendment was passed by 24 votes to 18 and the amended proposition by 39 to 1.
Switzerland: The Green Liberal Party of Switzerland submitted a parliamentary initiative aiming for a constitutional amendment allowing couples to enter into a marriage or civil union "irrespective of gender or sexual orientation" to the National Council on 5 December 2013.
Estonia: On 17 April 2014 40 members of parliament submitted a Cohabitation Agreement bill. On 19 June 2014, the parliament rejected the motion to kill the bill at the first reading, in a 32-45 vote. The second reading will take place in the autumn of 2014.
Greece: On 7 November 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in Vallianatos and Others v. Greece that excluding same-sex couples from registered partnerships is discriminatory. On 12 November, the party Panhellenic Socialist Movement announced its intention to introduce a bill extending the registered partnership law to same-sex couples.
Italy: On 20 March 2013 and 26 March 2013 Civil Union and Cohabitation bills were submitted to the Senate. On 18 June 2013 the examination of those bills by several committees started. A third bill was submitted on 19 December 2013. Its examination started on 4 March 2014. The government announced plans to submit another bill to the Senate in September 2014.
European Union: Debate has occurred in the European Union over a proposal which would require each member to legally recognize each other's same-sex marriages as well as any member's civil unions and registered partnerships to ensure the right of freedom of movement for citizens' family members.
Public support for same-sex marriage from EU member states as measured from a 2006 poll is the greatest in the Netherlands (82%), Sweden (71%), Denmark (69%), Spain (66%), Belgium (65%), Luxembourg (58%), Finland (54%), Germany (52%) and the Czech Republic (52%). However, other polls have also placed Germany and France between 54% to 65%, the UK at 61%.
After the approval of same-sex marriage in Portugal in January 2010, 52% of the Portuguese population stated that they were in favor of the legislation. In 2008 58% of the Norwegian voters supported the Marriage Act, which was introduced in the same year, and 31 percent were against it. In January 2013 54.1% of Italians respondents supported same-sex marriage In a late January 2013 survey 77,2% of Italians respondents supported the recognition of same-sex unions.
In Ireland, a 2008 survey revealed 84% of people supported civil unions for same-sex couples (and 58% for same-sex marriage), while a 2010 survey showed 67% supported same-sex marriage by 2012 this figure had risen to 73% in support.
A March 2013 survey by Taloustutkimus found that 58% of Finns supported same-sex marriage.
In Croatia, a poll conducted in November 2013 revealed that 59% of Croats think that marriage should be constitutionally defined as a union between a man and a woman, while 31% do not agree with the idea.
In Poland a 2013 public poll revealed that 70% of Poles reject the idea of registered partnerships. Another survey in February 2013 revealed that 55% were against and 38% of Poles support the idea of registered partnerships for same-sex couples.
In comparison, support tends to be the lowest in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, and Romania. The average percentage of support for same-sex marriage in the European Union as of 2006 when it had 25 members was 44%, which had descended from a previous percentage of 53%. The change was caused by more socially conservative nations joining the EU.
- Excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
- Excluding Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
- Excluding Northern Ireland.
- (Dutch) Wet openstelling huwelijk
- (Dutch) Invoeringswet openbare lichamen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba
- (Dutch) Wet tot openstelling van het huwelijk voor personen van hetzelfde geslacht en tot wijziging van een aantal bepalingen van het Burgerlijk Wetboek
- (Spanish) Ley 13/2005, de 1 de julio, por la que se modifica el Código Civil en materia de derecho a contraer matrimonio
- (Norwegian) Lov om endringer i ekteskapsloven, barnelova, adopsjonsloven, bioteknologiloven mv. (felles ekteskapslov for heterofile og homofile par)
- (Portuguese) Lei n.º 9/2010 de 31 de Maio
- (Icelandic) Lög um breytingar á hjúskaparlögum og fleiri lögum og um brottfall laga um staðfesta samvist (ein hjúskaparlög)
- (Danish) Lov om ændring af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning, lov om ægteskabets retsvirkninger og retsplejeloven og om ophævelse af lov om registreret partnerskab
- (French) LOI n° 2013-404 du 17 mai 2013 ouvrant le mariage aux couples de personnes de même sexe
- Marriage (Same-sex couples) Act 2013
- Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014
- (French) Mémorial A n° 125 de 2014
- (Dutch) Invoeringswet openbare lichamen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba
- (French) Loi n° 99-944 du 15 novembre 1999 relative au pacte civil de solidarité
- (German) Gesetz zur Einführung des gesetzlichen Zusammenwohnens
- (German) Gesetz über die Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft
- (Swedish) Lag om registrerat partnerskap
- (French) Loi du 9 juillet 2004 relative aux effets légaux de certains partenariats
- (Catalan) Llei 4/2005 qualificada de les unions estables de parella
- Civil Partnership Act 2004
- (Czech) 115/2006 Sb. o registrovaném partnerství a o změně některých souvisejících zákonů
- (Slovene) 2840. Zakon o registraciji istospolne partnerske skupnosti
- (German) Bundesgesetz über die eingetragene Partnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare
- (Hungarian) 2009. évi XXIX. törvény a bejegyzett élettársi kapcsolatról, az ezzel összefüggő, valamint az élettársi viszony igazolásának megkönnyítéséhez szükséges egyes törvények módosításáról
- (German) Gesamte Rechtsvorschrift für Eingetragene Partnerschaft-Gesetz
- Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010
- Civil Partnership Act 2011
- (German) Gesetz über die eingetragene Partnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare (Partnerschaftsgesetz; PartG)
- Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012
- CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ACT 2014
- AN ACT to regulate civil unions and to provide for matters connected therewith or ancillary thereto
- (Croatian) ZAKON O ŽIVOTNOM PARTNERSTVU OSOBA ISTOG SPOLA
- (German) Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, Änderung
- (Swedish) Medborgarinitiativ till riksdagen med förslag till lagar om ändring av äktenskapslagen, lagen om registrerat partnerskap och lagen om fastställande av transsexuella personers könstillhörighet (MI 3/2013 rd)
- "Legal committee votes against gay marriage". Yle. 25 June 2014.
- (Danish) Aleqa: Der er forskelsbehandling på homo og heteroseksuelle par
- Kenny backs referendum on same sex marriage
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 15
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 204
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 393
- "CIVIL MARRIAGES: SAME SEX COUPLES". States of Jersey. 28 May 2014.
- "Additional information for P.102/2014". States of Jersey. 28 May 2014.
- "Gay marriage proposition lodged by Reform Jersey". BBC. 28 May 2014.
- "CIVIL MARRIAGES: SAME SEX COUPLES (P.102/2014) – SECOND AMENDMENT". States of Jersey. 8 July 2014.
- "Same sex marriage law delayed in Jersey". BBC. 8 July 2014.
- "Gay marriage decision rejected by the States". Jersey Evening Post. 8 July 2014.
- (German) 13.468 – Parlamentarische Initiative - Ehe für alle
- Gender-Neutral Cohabitation Bill Submitted to Parliament
- (Estonian) Kooseluseadus 650 SE
- "Gender-Neutral Civil Union Bill Survives Early Morning Vote". EER. 19 June 2014.
- CASE OF VALLIANATOS AND OTHERS v. GREECE JUDGMENT
- (Greek) Ανάληψη πρωτοβουλίας του ΠΑΣΟΚ για το σύμφωνο συμβίωσης
- (Greek) Τροπολογία για το σύμφωνο συμβίωσης από το ΠΑΣΟΚ
- "Deputies to debate civil unions within the next year". Guernsey press. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 239
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 314
- (Italian) Atto Senato n. 1211
- "Italy to begin civil union debate in September". The Local. 17 June 2014.
- Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers
- "EU Public Opinion: SSM" (PDF). Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- (French) "Couples homosexuels: Les Français sont pour l'adoption" [Gay Couples: The French are for adoption]. Le Journal du Dimanche. 27 June 2008.
- Church 'out of touch' as public supports equal rights for homosexuals, The Times, 27 June 2009
- "New England's largest GLBT newspaper". Bay Windows. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- AVJonathan Tisdall . "Support for gay marriage". Aftenposten.no. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- (Italian)  Datamonitor, 7 January 2013
- (Italian) Il Rapporto Italia 2013 | L'Italia del presentismo Eurispes, 31 January 2013
- "Increased support for gay marriage - Survey". BreakingNews.ie. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- "Yes to gay marriage and premarital sex: a nation strips off its conservative values". Irish Times. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Poll finds Irish support for gay marriage at 73%
- Poll: Over half of Finns favour same-sex marriage law
- (Croatian) "Anketa za HRT: 59 posto građana ZA promjenu Ustava". Slobodnadalmacija.hr. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- (Polish) Polacy: Związki partnerskie? Niepotrzebne! [SONDAŻ TOK FM]
- (Polish) Sondaż: Polacy przeciwko związkom partnerskim. [SONDAŻ TNS OBOP]