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February 20, 2015

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that same-sex couples can adopt jointly – but only if the child is the biological child of one of the partners

LGBTI rights activists in Colombia are disappointed after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the only circumstance where gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt is where the child in question is the biological child of their partner.

The issue had been winding its way through the courts and there were hopes it might lead to full adoption rights for LGBTI Colombians, but Colombia’s highest court declared the matter settled on Wednesday via an announcement on Twitter.

January 29, 2015

Bill gives civil partners nearly all the rights of married couples

Lawmakers in socially conservative Chile have given final approval to gay civil unions after more than four years of legislative wrangling.

The senate yesterday (January) passed the Civil Union Accord bill by a 25 to 6 vote margin with three abstentions, a week after the lower house approved the measure.

The bill now heads back to President Michelle Bachelet to sign into law.

December 19, 2014

More than 40% of MPs vote in favor of the draft bill

Polish lawmakers have voted against putting a gender-neutral civil unions bill on the agenda of this parliamentary session.

MPs on Wednesday (17 December) voted down the bill proposed by the Your Movement party by 235 ballots to 185, with 18 absentations.

This is the third time the Sejm has rejected the legislation, which was first introduced in 2012.

November 26, 2014

Ceremony is Rio de Janeiro state's fifth such event since 2011

Rio de Janeiro married 160 LGBTI couples on Sunday (23 November) in what the state hailed as 'the largest collective same-sex civil wedding ceremony in the world.'

The event was the fifth mass gay wedding organized by state program Rio Without Homophobia and the state court, which have married a total 500 LGBTI couples.

'It is an affirmative action to call attention to all of the achievements and challenges in the area of civil and human rights of the LGBT community,' Cláudio Nascimento, coordinator of Rio Without Homophobia, told Agência Brasil.

October 18, 2014

'We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled'

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in the seven states affected by the Supreme Court's decision not to hear marriage appeals.

September 1, 2014

The country’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of a lesbian who wants to step-adopt her partner’s biological children

Following a five-year legal battle by a lesbian couple, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that sexual orientation must not be regarded as a discriminating factor by welfare services considering second-parent adoptions.

Ana Leiderman and Veronica Botero, who live in Medellin, share the upbringing of Leiderman’s children: a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. Both children were born after Leiderman underwent artificial insemination. The women underwent a civil union in Germany in 2008, and Botero first applied to adopt the-then baby girl five years ago.

August 30, 2014

A court in Rome has approved the step-child adoption of a girl by the female partner of her biological mother

For the first time in Italian history, a court has granted permission for the adoption of a child living with a gay couple. The child is the biological daughter of one of the women, and her partner has been allowed to legally become her co-parent through adoption.

The couple have been living together in Rome since 2003, and the decision was taken by the city’s Juvenile Court. It’s believed that the child was conceived through IVF treatment abroad – where the couple also underwent a marriage ceremony.

July 28, 2014

The first same-sex couple to legally marry in the Mexican state of Michoacan has set another precedent in obtaining the legal right to have children

A lesbian couple in Mexico won a court ruling validating their marriage, allowing them to pursue parenthood should they wish.

Alejandra Banderas Rosales y Claudia Brizeiry López Ramos, who became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in the state of Michoacan on 12 March 2014, were informed over the weekend their case against Mexico’s Family Code proved successful.

July 15, 2014

Eastern European country's parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor to give gay couples the right to enter into life partnerships

Gay couples are celebrating as Croatia has adopted a law on life partnerships.

It allows couples to enter into a legal union that gives them many of the same rights that married couples enjoy, but does not allow them to adopt.

The law passed 89 votes in support and 16 against today (15 July).

Zoran Milanovic, Croatia’s liberal Prime Minister, proposed the legislation saying he was determined to bring in rights for same-sex couples.

The law will give same-sex couples access to equality in inheritance, pensions, tax and medical care.

May 26, 2014

The auxiliary Catholic bishop of Brasilia and general secretary of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil says his church would be willing to support civil unions but draws the line at calling them marriages

Bishop Leonardo Steiner has become the first national level leader in the Catholic Church to publicly accept the recognition of same-sex couples with civil unions while still opposing sex between people outside of marriage.

Steiner made the comments in an interview with O Globo, saying ‘The Church is always changing.’

February 8, 2014

Under new directive, federal lawyers will assume same-sex couples have the same rights like opposite-sex couples, including the right not to testify against a spouse

Early next week, the US Justice Department will announce plans to extend more federal protections to same-sex married couples, even those living in states where gay marriage is not recognized.

In a speech that will be given tonight (8 February) at a Human Rights Campaign gala in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder will report government lawyers will, in federal courts, treat same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples the same.

January 14, 2014

But same-sex marriages cannot take place as judge issues stay on his ruling pending appeal

A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday (14 January) ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

But unlike in a Utah case where a similar ruling in December quickly led to more than 1,000 same-sex marriages in that state, the judge has stayed his ruling pending an appeal.

Terence Kern, a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, ruled on a case filed by two lesbian couples back in 2004.

December 9, 2013

132 same-sex couples were legally married Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in what is believed to be the world’s largest mass same-sex wedding

132 same-sex couples were married by Rio de Janeiro’s Superior Court of Justice on Sunday in what is thought to be the world’s largest mass same-sex wedding.

The ceremony was held in the auditorium of the School of Magistrates of Rio de Janeiro.

Each of the 132 couples were able to invite up to ten family members and friends, which made the auditorium very overcrowded with supporters.

October 29, 2013

LGBTI group is suing Kenya’s government after board refused to let them register legally. Case will be landmark challenge of the Constitution

Gay people in Kenya are taking the government to the High Court, saying officials have breached the Constitution by refusing to recognize LGBTI organizations.

The case, which starts with a preliminary hearing tomorrow, is set to cause a media storm.

But if judges back them, they will pave the way for the government to legally recognize other LGBTI groups. And it will make it clear the Kenyan Constitution protects everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

October 24, 2013

While same-sex couples have now been given equal state child benefits, many are hoping recent coalition talks will pave way for same-sex marriage and adoption

Despite still being banned from adoption, same-sex couples in Germany were given equal state child benefits yesterday (23 October).

A lesbian couple in a civil union, with two children each, were victorious in a legal case at the Federal Fiscal Court in Munich.

The AFP reports the plaintiff, not identified by the court, argued she and her civil partner were entitled to the higher rate of €215 ($296) per month given to families of four children.

September 19, 2013

Government officials announced a proposal to give same-sex civil unions the same legal rights as marriage between a man and a woman

Thailand's government is preparing to review a 'gay marriage' bill in coming months.

Naras Savestanan, the director general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, announced in a press conference yesterday: 'We will put forward the same-sex civil-union bill in Parliament.'

He said, under the bill, same-sex civil unions would become the legal equivalent of a marriage of a straight couple.

As such, same-sex couples would receive the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples including 'tax benefits, pension benefits and more'.

July 2, 2013

LGBT people from 10 countries, who could potentially travel to France to get married, would be barred from doing so

Over 15 million LGBT people are banned from same-sex marriage in France, it was revealed today (2 July).

France has signed agreements with several countries saying any ex-patriots would be banned from marrying under the new ‘Marriage for All’ law.

The 10 countries are Algeria, Bosnia & Herzigovina, Cambodia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia as well as the region of Kosovo.

May 14, 2013

National Council of Justice rules government offices that issue marriage licenses have no standing to reject gay couples

Gay couples across Brazil can begin applying for marriage licenses with or without a marriage equality law passed by the country's congress, according to a ruling Tuesday (14 May) by Brazil's top judicial panel.

The National Council of Justice said government offices in Brazil do not have the legal standing to deny the licenses to same-sex couples.

May 1, 2013

Paraíba and Santa Catarina have become the 13th and 14th states to legalize equal marriage, meaning 60% of Brazilians can get married without going through the two-step process

Santa Catarina and Paraíba have become the 13th and 14th states to approve the right to marry to same-sex couples.

As Freedom to Marry notes, this means nearly three in five Brazilians have the right to marry their loved one.

April 19, 2013

A high court judge in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has passed a ruling authorizing gay marriag in the Brazilian state

The General Magistrate of Justice of Rio de Janeiro state, Judge Valmir de Oliveira Silva, published a legal ruling authorizing gay marriage in the state

Rio de Janeiro has become today (April 19) the 11th state of Brazil to institute marriage equality.

The other states being: São Paulo, Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, Ceará and the Federal District of Brazilia.

December 21, 2012

The Court of São Paulo ruled that state notaries are now required to register same-sex marriages without first getting court approval

São Paulo state notaries are now obliged to recognize same-sex marriages.

According to Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, this court ruling permits gay couples to obtain a marriage certificate without needing prior approval from a court.

This week's court order also means that same-sex couples already registered in a civil union do not need court approval to convert their status into marriage.

December 18, 2012

Bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini from Locri-Gerace recognizes that gay couples 'should claim some rights, but they can not ask for marriage'

An Italian Catholic bishop said that ‘same-sex couples should have their civil rights recognized.’

Bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, who is in charge of the Locri-Gerace area in Calabria, recognized same-sex couples’ rights in a letter sent to the churches of his area.

Such a recognition by the Catholic hierarchy is uncommon, but bishop Morosini added: ‘However, same-sex couples are not families. We can not give them the right to a regular marriage.

December 10, 2012

Almost 100 gay and lesbian couples had their unions legalized in symbolic ceremony

Almost 100 gay and lesbian couples took part in a mass 'wedding' in Rio, Brazil, yesterday (9 December).

The 92 same-sex couples joined the ceremony which legalized their unions just short of marriage status, reported AFP.

However, the service at the Rio courthouse was mainly symbolic and participants will have to take their vows again in front of a judge today (10 December).

October 17, 2012

Gay Star News speaks to Esteban Paulón, president of the Argentine LGBT Federation (FALGBT), about how the LGBT rights group is bringing marriage equality, gay parents' rights and transgender rights to your home country

Is same-sex marriage not yet legal in your country?

Consider coming to Argentina, where since May 2012, gay couples from abroad can legally wed in four provinces including the capital city of Buenos Aires.

All you need is a copy of your passport and the address of your hotel.

Be forewarned, because your marriage will likely not be recognized when you go back home.