Same-sex marriage in Norway

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Same-sex marriage became legally recognized in Norway on 1 January 2009, when a gender neutral marriage bill was enacted after being passed by the Norwegian legislature in June 2008.[1][2] Norway became the first Scandinavian country and the sixth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Registered partnership[edit]

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

Includes laws that have not yet gone into effect.

Norway has allowed same-sex registered partnerships since the 30 April 1993 act, which came into force on 1 August 1993.[3][4] Norway became the second country to do so, after Denmark, which implemented a registered partnership law in 1989.

Registered partnerships were granted virtually all the protections, responsibilities and benefits of marriage, including arrangements for the breakdown of the relationship.[3][4]

The act stated that the articles in the Adoption Act relating to married couples shall not apply for registered partners. It also follows from the Act on Biotechnology that artificial insemination can only be given to a married couple or cohabitants of opposite sexes. In June 2001, however, the Norwegian Parliament approved a bill allowing registered partners to adopt their partner's children.[5] The law took effect on 1 January 2002.[3][4]

In 2002, Reuters reported that around 150 couples registered their partnerships each year. One of the more notable people to register a relationship was former Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss.[6]

Couples who have registered their relationships may retain their status as registered partners or "upgrade" to a marriage since the new law has taken effect. However, no new registered partnerships may be created.

Same-sex marriage[edit]

A bill was proposed on 18 November 2004 by two MPs from the Socialist Left Party to abolish the existing registered partnership 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 The move was withdrawn and replaced by a request that the cabinet further investigate the issue.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 Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet announced a common, unified marriage act as part of its foundation document, the First Declaration of Soria Moria. A public hearing was opened on 16 May 2007.[7]

On 29 May 2008, the Associated Press reported that two Norwegian opposition parties (The Liberal Party and The Conservative Party) came out in favour of the new bill, assuring its passage at the vote on 11 June 2008. Prior to this, there were some disagreements with members of the three-party governing coalition on whether the bill had enough votes to pass.[8]

The first parliamentary hearing, including the vote, was held on 11 June 2008, with the lower house approving by 84 votes to 41 a bill that allowed same-sex couples to marry.[9][10] This came after the Norwegian government proposed a marriage law on 14 March 2008, that would give lesbian and gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including church weddings (although the law does not oblige any religious community to marry same-sex couples), full joint adoption and assisted pregnancies. The new legislation amended the definition of civil marriage to make it gender neutral.[11][12][13] Norway's upper house passed the bill with a 23–17 vote on 17 June. The King of Norway, Harald V, granted royal assent thereafter. The law took effect on 1 January 2009.[14][15]

In 2014, the Church of Norway's National Council voted down a proposal to perform same-sex marriages in the church.[16] In 2015, however, the Church of Norway voted to allow same-sex marriages to take place in its churches.[17]

In addition to providing a gender-neutral definition of marriage, the bill states that when a woman who is married to another woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination, the other partner will have all the rights of parenthood "from the moment of conception".

Public opinion[edit]

Five different polls conducted by Gallup Europe, Sentio, Synovate MMI, Norstat and YouGov in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 concluded that 61%, 63%, 66%, 58%, 70% and 78%, respectively, of the Norwegian population support gender-neutral marriage laws.[18][19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Norway adopts gay marriage law". Agence France-Presse. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "New law in Norway grants gay couples marriage rights". 17 June 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c Asland, John; Waaldijk, Kees. "Major legal consequences of marriage, cohabitation and registered partnership for different-sex and same-sex partners in Norway" (PDF). INED. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Registered partnership". Government of Norway. December 12, 2001. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  5. ^ The Adoption Act
  6. ^ "Norway names gay prime minister, briefly". 25 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2 February 2002. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Norway Moves To Legalize Gay Marriage". 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. 
  8. ^ "Majority in Norwegian parliament agrees on new law allowing gay weddings, adoptions". 29 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. 
  9. ^ "Same sex marriage law passed by wide majority". Aftenposten. 12 June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008. 
  10. ^ "Norway legalises gay marriage". 11 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Norway moves to legalise gay marriage · PinkNews". Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  12. ^ "Gays to win marriage rights". Aftenposten. 14 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Ravndal, Dennis; Gjermund Glesnes; Øystein Eian (11 June 2008). "Tårer da ekteskapsloven ble vedtatt" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Norway passes law approving gay marriage". 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "Norway approves same-sex marriage". SFGate. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Question of same-sex marriages unresolved". The Norway Post. NRK/Vårt Land. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Gaystarnews: Norway bishops open doors to gay church weddings
  18. ^ "Partners Task Force - Norway Offers Legal Marriage". 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Support for gay marriage". Aftenposten. 25 April 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. 
  20. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage in Europe Poll 2013". Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage". 7–21 May 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-30. 

External links[edit]