Same-sex marriage in Norway

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

Previously, from 1993 to 2008, Norway allowed same-sex couples to enter registered partnerships. Norway was the second country in the world to provide some form of recognition to same-sex couples, behind Denmark.

History[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Marriage
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

Registered partnership[edit]

Previously, Norway had allowed same-sex registered partnerships (Norwegian: registrert partnerskap; Northern Sami: registrerejuvvon párragaskavuohta)[a] since 1 August 1993, when a law regulating such partnerships came into force.[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] Initially, the partnership law stated that registered partners could not adopt, and that only married couples or opposite-sex cohabiting couples could access artificial insemination. In June 2001, however, the Norwegian Parliament approved a bill allowing registered partners to adopt their partner's children.[5] The amendment took effect on 1 January 2002.[3][4]

One of the more notable people to register a relationship was former Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss.[6][7]

Since 2009, couples who have registered their relationships may retain their status as registered partners or "upgrade" to a marriage since the new marriage law has taken effect. However, no new registered partnerships may be created.

Statistics[edit]

From 1993 to 2008, 1,485 partnerships between men and 1,233 partnerships between women were registered in Norway.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

The first parliamentary hearing, including the vote, was held on 11 June 2008, with the lower house approving by 84 votes to 41 legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry.[11][12] 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.[13][14][15] 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.[16][17] In addition to providing a gender-neutral definition of marriage, the law, known as the Marriage Act (Norwegian: Ekteskapsloven; Northern Sami: Náittosláhka),[b] 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".

Statistics[edit]

From 2009 to 2015, an average of 270 same-sex marriages took place per year, compared to an average of 127 registered partnerships from 1993 to 2008. 754 partnerships were converted to marriages in the first three years of same-sex marriage being legal. Female couples were more likely to adopt children than male couples, as about 30% of all married female couples had children, compared to 72% of straight couples and 3% of male couples.[18]

300 same-sex marriages were performed in 2015, accounting for about 1.3% of all marriages celebrated that year. In 2016, the 278 same-sex marriages accounted for 1.2% of all marriages.[19] Only 0.7% and 0.8% of divorces were between same-sex couples those two years. 333 same-sex couples got married in 2017.[20]

Number of marriages and divorces in Norway[21][22][23]
Year Same-sex marriages Total marriages Same-sex divorces Total divorces
Female Male Total Female Male Total
2009 178 105 283 24,582 0 0 0 10,235
2010 167 97 264 23,577 3 1 4 10,228
2011 166 93 259 23,135 15 4 19 10,207
2012 167 102 269 24,346 17 6 23 9,929
2013 162 90 252 23,410 37 19 56 9,736
2014 163 106 269 22,887 38 12 50 9,556
2015 187 113 300 22,738 50 18 68 9,306
2016 157 121 278 22,537 57 21 78 9,345
2017 214 119 333 22,111 70 21 91 9,848
2018 192 139 331 20,949 55 25 80 9,545

Marriages in the Church of Norway[edit]

In 2014, the Church of Norway's National Council voted down a proposal to perform same-sex marriages in the church.[24]

In 2015, the Church of Norway voted to allow same-sex marriages to take place in its churches.[25] The decision was ratified at the annual conference on 11 April 2016.[26][27][28] The church formally amended its marriage liturgy on 30 January 2017, replacing references to "bride and groom" with gender-neutral text.[29] A male same-sex couple was immediately married in the church the moment the changes came into effect, on 1 February 2017.[30]

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 supported gender-neutral marriage laws.[31][32][33][34]

A Pew Research Center poll, conducted between April and August 2017 and published in May 2018, showed that 72% of Norwegians supported same-sex marriage, 19% were opposed and 9% didn't know or refused to answer.[35] When divided by religion, 83% of religiously unaffiliated people, 72% of non-practicing Christians and 42% of church-attending Christians supported same-sex marriage.[36] Opposition was 14% among 18-34-year-olds.[37]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lule Sami: registardum guojmmevuohta; Southern Sami: tjaalasovveme guejmievoete
  2. ^ Lule Sami: Gállasjvuohtaláhka; Southern Sami: Ektievoetelaake

References[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". USA Today. Associated Press. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Registered partnership". Government of Norway. 12 December 2001. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  5. ^ "The Adoption Act". Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Norwegian minister 'marries' gay partner". BBC News. 15 January 2002. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  7. ^ Mellgren, Doug (16 January 2002). "Norwegian is first gay minister to marry partner". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Inngåtte registrerte partnerskap 1993 - 2008". Statistics Norway (in Norwegian).
  9. ^ "Norway Moves To Legalize Gay Marriage". 365gay News. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008.
  10. ^ "Majority in Norwegian parliament agrees on new law allowing gay weddings, adoptions". PR-inside.com. 29 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008.
  11. ^ Goll, Sven (12 June 2008). "Same sex marriage law passed by wide majority". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008.
  12. ^ Grew, Tony (11 June 2008). "Norway legalises gay marriage". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  13. ^ Lambert, Gavin (17 March 2008). "Norway moves to legalise gay marriage". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  14. ^ Berglund, Nina (14 March 2008). "Gays to win marriage rights". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008.
  15. ^ Ravndal, Dennis; Gjermund Glesnes; Øystein Eian (11 June 2008). "Tårer da ekteskapsloven ble vedtatt" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  16. ^ "Norway passes law approving gay marriage". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Norway approves same-sex marriage". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  18. ^ Same-sex marriages are on the rise in Norway
  19. ^ Marriages and divorces
  20. ^ Number of same sex marriages in Norway from 2009 to 2017
  21. ^ "Inngåtte ekteskap mellom like kjønn, etter kjønn 2009 - 2018". Statistics Norway (in Norwegian).
  22. ^ "Inngåtte ekteskap (K) 1966 - 2018". Statistics Norway (in Norwegian).
  23. ^ "Skilsmisser og separasjoner, etter mannens bosted, statistikkvariabel og år". Statistics Norway (in Norwegian).
  24. ^ "Question of same-sex marriages unresolved". NRK/Vårt Land. Norway Post. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  25. ^ Wee, Darren (2 November 2015). "Norway bishops open doors to gay church weddings". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  26. ^ Pettersen, Jørgen; Edvardsen, Ingvild; Skjærseth, Lars Erik (11 April 2016). "Nå kan homofile gifte seg i kirka". NRK. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  27. ^ Oesterud, Tor Ingar (11 April 2016). "Large majority want gay marriage in church". Norway Today. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  28. ^ Fouche, Gwladys (11 April 2016). "Norway's Lutheran church votes in favor of same-sex marriage". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  29. ^ Fouche, Gwladys (30 January 2017). "Norway's Lutheran Church embraces same-sex marriage". Reuters. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  30. ^ Hadland, Lisa S. (1 February 2017). "First gay couple wed". Norway Today. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  31. ^ "Partners Task Force - Norway Offers Legal Marriage". Buddybuddy.com. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  32. ^ Tisdall, Jonathan (25 April 2008). "Support for gay marriage". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
  33. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage in Europe Poll 2013". YouGov. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  34. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage". Ipsos-na.com. 7–21 May 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  35. ^ Religion and society, Pew Research Center, 29 May 2018
  36. ^ Being Christian in Western Europe, Pew Research Center, 29 May 2018
  37. ^ Eastern and Western Europeans Differ on Importance of Religion, Views of Minorities, and Key Social Issues, Pew Research Center, 2017

External links[edit]