Same-sex marriage in Denmark

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Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships
Marriage
Recognized
  1. Can be registered also in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage

Commencement dates:
  1. To be determined
  2. June 1, 2014 for statewide
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Same-sex marriage became legal in Denmark on 15 June 2012.[1] The bill for legalization, introduced by the government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt, was approved by the Folketing on 7 June 2012 and received Royal Assent on 12 June 2012.[2] The legislation covers metropolitan Denmark only and is not extended to Greenland or the Faroe Islands.[1] Same-sex couples were previously recognised through registered partnerships. Denmark is the eleventh country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.

History[edit]

Registered partnership[edit]

Registered partnerships (Danish: registreret partnerskab) in Denmark were created by a law enacted on 7 June 1989, the world's first such law, and came into force on 1 October 1989.[3][4] It was extended to Greenland on 26 April 1996,[5] and later amended in 1999. Three attempts to expand the law in May 2003,[6][7][8] another in June 2003,[9] and another in June 2006[10] failed in Parliament. The law was successfully expanded in June 2009[11] and May 2010.[12]

Registered partnerships had almost all the same qualities as marriage. All legal and fiscal rights and obligations were like those of opposite-sex marriage, with the following two exceptions:

  • laws making explicit reference to the sexes of a married couple did not apply to registered partnerships
  • regulations by international treaties did not apply unless all signatories agree.

Divorce for registered partners followed the same rules as opposite-sex divorces. Registered partners had to meet one of the following residency requirements to form a union: (1) one partner had to be a Danish citizen and be resident in Denmark, or (2) both parties must have been resident in Denmark for two years. Citizens of Finland, Iceland, and Norway were treated as Danish citizens for purposes of the residency requirements. Additionally, the Justice Minister could order that a citizen of any other country with a registered partnership law similar to Denmark's be treated as a citizen of Denmark.[13]

In 2006, lesbian individuals and couples were given the right to have access to artificial insemination treatment.

On 17 March 2009, the Folketing introduced a bill that gave same-sex couples in registered partnerships the right to adopt jointly.[14] This bill was approved on 4 May 2010 and took effect on 1 July 2010.[15]

Registered partnership was by civil ceremony only, but the Church of Denmark allowed priests to perform blessings of gay couples.[16]

On 15 June 2012, the registered partnership act was repealed and replaced by the new gender-neutral marriage law.

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

In 2006, five Social Liberal MPs introduced a resolution that asked the Government to draft a gender-neutral marriage law. The resolution was debated in Parliament and opposed by members of the conservative governing coalition.[17] The Minister for the Family, Carina Christensen, argued that registered partners already had the same rights as married partners except the ability to marry in church, and thus that gender-neutral marriage was unnecessary.

In January 2008, the Social Liberal Party's Equality Rapporteur, Lone Dybkjær, once again called for gender-neutral marriage (kønsneutrale ægteskab).[18]

The Copenhagen Mayor for Culture and Recreation, Pia Allerslev, from the liberal then-governing Venstre party, also publicly supported same-sex marriage,[19] as did the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard.[20]

In June 2010, the Parliament once again debated a same-sex marriage bill proposed by the opposition parties. It was rejected on a 52-57 vote.[21] The motion calling for legalization was also voted down.[22]

In October 2011 Manu Sareen, Minister for Equality and Church Affairs in the new Danish government, announced that the government was seeking to legalize same-sex marriage by spring 2012.[23] On 18 January 2012, the government published two draft bills. One bill introduced a gender-neutral definition of marriage and allowed same-sex couples to marry either in civil registry offices or in the Church of Denmark. Existing registered partnerships would have the option of converting to a marriage, while no new registered partnerships will be able to be created. According to the other bill, individual priests would be allowed to refuse to conduct same-sex marriages. Other religious communities would also be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages but would not be compelled to do so. The bills were under consultation process until 22 February 2012.[24][25][26][27]

On 14 March 2012, the government submitted both bills to Parliament.[28][29][30][31] The bills were approved on 7 June 2012 and received royal assent on 12 June 2012. The new laws took effect on 15 June 2012.[2][32][1][33] The new legislation was opposed by the Danish People's Party and the Christian Democrats, a religious conservative party, although the latter were not represented in the Danish Parliament at that time.

A set of bills to extend Danish law to the Faroe Islands was submitted to the Løgting on 20 November 2013. If approved, they would enter into force on 1 April 2014.[34][35][36] However, parliamentary approval was unlikely due to opposition from the parties of the governing coalition.[37] The bills were rejected at the second reading on 13 March 2014.[38][39][40][41]

Similar legislation regarding Greenland is also being proposed and, if approved, would take effect on 1 July 2014.[42][43]

Public opinion[edit]

YouGov poll, conducted between 27 December 2012 and 6 January 2013, found that 79% of Danes supported same-sex marriage, 16% were opposed and 6% had no opinion.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c (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
  2. ^ a b Gay marriage legalised
  3. ^ The Registered Partnership Act
  4. ^ Sheila Rule: Rights for Gay Couples in Denmark - New York Times. Published: 2 October 1989. Accessed: 7 June 2012
  5. ^ Yuval Merin, Equality for same-sex couples. Published in 2002.
  6. ^ (Danish) 2002-03 - L 91 (oversigt): Forslag til lov om ændring af adoptionsloven og lov om registreret partnerskab. (Ligestilling mellem registreret partnerskab og ægteskab ved adoption)
  7. ^ (Danish) 2002-03 - L 93 (oversigt): Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om registreret partnerskab. (Ligestilling mellem registreret partnerskab og heteroseksuelle ægtefæller med hensyn til fremmedadoption af danske og udenlandske børn)
  8. ^ (Danish) 2002-03 - L 129 (oversigt): Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om registreret partnerskab. (Ophævelse af kravet om statsborgerskab eller bopæl her i landet ved registrering af partnerskab)
  9. ^ (Danish) 2002-03 - L 119 (oversigt): Forslag til lov om ændring af adoptionsloven. (Adgang til stedbarnsadoption for registreret partner fra barnets fødsel)
  10. ^ (Danish) L 228 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om registreret partnerskab
  11. ^ (Danish) L 105 Forslag til lov om ændring af adoptionsloven og forskellige andre love
  12. ^ (Danish) L 146 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om registreret partnerskab, lov om en børnefamilieydelse og lov om børnetilskud og forskudsvis udbetaling af børnebidrag
  13. ^ "Act on Registered Partnerships, as amended". 
  14. ^ Denmark parliament approves equal adoption rights
  15. ^ Gay adoption on the lawbooks
  16. ^ The Evangelical Lutheran Church In Denmark & Homosexuality
  17. ^ (Danish) B 76 Forslag til folketingsbeslutning om at indføre en ægteskabslovgivning, som ligestiller homoseksuelle med heteroseksuelle.
  18. ^ (Danish) R vil indføre kønsneutrale ægteskab
  19. ^ (Danish) Ægtefolk af samme køn, Politiken, 19 April 2009
  20. ^ (Danish) S og V vil kalde homo-vielser for ægteskab, Politiken, 24 August 2009
  21. ^ (Danish) L 123 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning og forskellige andre love samt ophævelse af lov om registreret partnerskab
  22. ^ (Danish) B 122 Forslag til folketingsbeslutning om at indføre en kønsneutral ægteskabslovgivning, så homoseksuelle par og heteroseksuelle par bliver ligestillede
  23. ^ Denmark moves to legalize same-sex marriage
  24. ^ (Danish) Høring om lovforslag om vielse af par af samme køn
  25. ^ (Danish) Ministre sender lovforslag om homovielser i høring
  26. ^ (Danish) Forslag til Lov om ændring af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning, retspleje-loven og om ophævelse af lov om registreret partnerskab
  27. ^ (Danish) Forslag til Lov om ændring af lov om medlemskab af folkekirken, kirkelig betjening og sognebåndsløsning
  28. ^ Denmark submits gay marriage bill
  29. ^ (Danish) Homoseksuelle: Vielses-forslag er ikke vidtgående nok
  30. ^ (Danish) L 105 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om medlemskab af folkekirken, kirkelig betjening og sognebåndsløsning
  31. ^ (Danish) L 106 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning, lov om ægteskabets retsvirkninger og retsplejeloven og om ophævelse af lov om registreret partnerskab
  32. ^ Denmark approves gay weddings in church
  33. ^ (Danish) Lov om ændring af lov om medlemskab af folkekirken, kirkelig betjening og sognebåndsløsning
  34. ^ (Faroese) 51/2013 Uppskot til ríkislógartilmæli um at seta í gildi fyri Føroyar partar av broytingum í hjúnabandslógini og rættarvirknaðarlógini við tilhoyrandi skjølum
  35. ^ (Faroese) 52/2013 Uppskot til ríkislógartilmæli um broyting í rættargangslógini fyri Føroyar
  36. ^ (Faroese) 53/2013 Uppskot til ríkislógartilmæli um broyting í “Anordning om ikrafttræden for Færøerne af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning”
  37. ^ (Danish) Færøerne klar til homovielser - og så ikke alligevel
  38. ^ Faroe Islands: Equal marriage bill voted down
  39. ^ (Faroese) Løgtingssetan 2013 Mál: 51 Viðgerð: 2
  40. ^ (Faroese) Løgtingssetan 2013 Mál: 52 Viðgerð: 2
  41. ^ (Faroese) Løgtingssetan 2013 Mál: 53 Viðgerð: 2
  42. ^ (Danish) "Homovielser i Grønland fra juli 2014". Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation. 19 November 2013. 
  43. ^ (Danish) "Der lagt op til ændring af kirkeloven i Grønland, der skal bane vejen for homoseksuelle vielser i kirken". Sermitsiaq. 20 January 2014. 
  44. ^ YouGov / EMEA Survey Results