As the first same-sex marriage in the Netherlands was performed on 1 April , the Belgian Government, mostly under the lead of Minister of Health Magda Aelvoet Agalev , began considering it as well. On 30 November , however, the Council of State gave a negative legal opinion on the bill, saying that "marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman".
As Minister Aelvoet resigned on 28 August and elections were to be held in June , the fate of the bill was unclear. Some politicians also accused Philippe Monfils MR of deliberately stalling the bill. The Senate Justice Committee held hearings and voted 11—4 to approve the bill. It passed in the full Senate on 28 November , with 46 votes to 15 and 4 abstentions , and on 30 January the bill passed the Chamber of Representatives by 91 votes to 22 and 9 abstentions. The first female couple married on 6 June and the first male couple on 13 June , both in Kapellen near Antwerp.
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In November , opponents of same-sex marriage petitioned the Arbitration Court to invalidate the law as unconstitutional. Their main argument held that treating fundamentally different situations the same way violates the equality principle of the Constitution. Originally, Belgium allowed the marriages of foreign same-sex couples only if their country of origin also allowed these unions.
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A circulaire by Minister of Justice Laurette Onkelinx PS of 23 January , however, permits any couple to marry in Belgium if at least one of the spouses has lived in the country for a minimum of three months. This was codified into the Code of Private International Law, [b] which took effect on 1 October The same-sex marriage law did not permit adoption by same-sex partners , and as birth within a same-sex marriage did not imply affiliation, the same-sex spouse of the biological parent had no way to become the legal parent.
A proposal to permit adoption was approved 77—62 with 7 abstentions by the Chamber of Representatives on 1 December ,   and 34—33 with 2 abstentions by the Senate on 20 April A legal inequality compared to heterosexual couples still existed with regards to children: the husband of the biological mother is automatically legally recognised as the father by article of the Civil Code , but this was not the case in a same-sex couple for the wife of the mother.
To be recognised as the co-mother, she had to complete an adoption procedure. This accounted for the large majority of adoption cases in Belgium. The Di Rupo Government promised to fix this, and in , as the Netherlands had recently passed similar legislation, LGBT organisations pressured the government about their promise. Subsequently, legislators worked to agree on a solution. The bill received royal assent on 5 May and went into effect on 1 January Since this change, female same-sex couples are treated equally to heterosexual couples: the co-mother married to the mother is automatically recognised as a parent, and an unmarried partner can formally recognise the child at the civil registry.
An equivalent solution for male same-sex couples has not been agreed upon, due to the controversy surrounding surrogacy. According to the Belgian Official Journal , approximately same-sex couples were married between June and April in and 55 in This constituted 1.
Two-thirds of the couples were male and one-third female. On 22 July , the Belgian Government announced that a total of 2, same-sex marriages had taken place in the country since the extension of marriage rights two years earlier. The odd numbers are due to the fact that certain partners are not officially inscribed in the National Register or are the result of an incorrect registration. When comparing per region: .
Consequently, the share of same-sex marriages among all marriages also differs from region to region.
In , almost 3. The province with the lowest rate is Walloon Brabant 1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Legal status of same-sex unions. Civil unions and registered partnerships. Common-law marriage. Israel 6. Minimal recognition. See also. Same-sex union legislation Same-sex union court cases Timeline of same-sex marriage Recognition of same-sex unions in Africa Recognition of same-sex unions in Asia Recognition of same-sex unions in Europe Recognition of same-sex unions in the Americas Recognition of same-sex unions in Oceania Marriage privatization Divorce of same-sex couples Domestic partnership Military policy Adoption Listings by country LGBT rights by country or territory.
Performed statewide in 18 states and Mexico City , in certain municipalities in three other states, and recognized by all states in such cases. Performed in the Netherlands proper, including the Caribbean Netherlands. Neither performed nor recognized in Niue, Tokelau or the Cook Islands. Not recognized in Caribbean overseas territories , though marriage-equivalent ordered for the Cayman Islands.
Neither performed nor recognized in American Samoa or some tribal nations. Registered foreign marriages confer limited rights.
Marriage recognized in Tel Aviv. Degree of recognition unknown.
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No actual cases to date. Limited to residency rights for foreign spouses of EU citizens. Legal guardianships nationwide, except Hong Kong and Macau , residency rights for foreign spouses of legal residents Hong Kong. Recognition of foreign marriage for parental rights Same sex couples can live together, but no legal obligation for them Offer "partnership certificates", which provide some tools such as hospital visitation rights but do not offer any legal recognition Limited to spouses of foreign diplomatic officials. LGBT portal.
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