Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

change
[ + ] Text []

The Freedom to Marry Internationally

"The exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and responsibilities of marriage was not a small and tangential inconvenience resulting from a few surviving relics of societal prejudice destined to evaporate like the morning dew. It represented a harsh if oblique statement by the law that same-sex couples are outsiders, and that their need for affirmation and protection of their intimate relations as human beings is somehow less than that of heterosexual couples. It signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than that of heterosexual couples. The intangible damage to same-sex couples is as severe as the material deprivation. They are not entitled to celebrate their commitment to each other in a joyous public event recognised by the law. They are obliged to live in a state of legal blankness in which their unions remain unmarked by the showering of presents and the commemoration of anniversaries so celebrated in our culture."

South Africa Constitution Court Ruling for the freedom to marry, 12/1/2005

Use the key resources below to learn more about the advancement of the freedom to marry throughout the world.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

Marriage equality, justice in immigration go together
The Advocate
April 11, 2006

Gay people—both citizens and non-citizens—have a direct stake in both immigration fairness and ending anti-gay discrimination.

INTERVIEW: A 20/20 vision for marriage equality in Wisconsin
Quest
September 15, 2005

Quest interviews Evan Wolfson, discussing why marriage matters and the fight for marriage equality — its beginning, history, recent triumphs, and the future challenges/obtacles ahead. Wolfson talks about what we must do now in order to move forward and follow the lead of recent countries (Spain, Canada) who have joined Belgium and the Netherlands in legalizing marriage. He also talks about the shift in public opinion and how time is on the side of fairness and equality.

ANALYSIS: How will same-sex couples legally married in Massachusetts, Canada, or elsewhere be treated?
May 20, 2004
Past battles over marriage and divorce show a pattern. For a period of time, there will be a patchwork of law and responses...

[TOP]

 


 

WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce the negative impact of that law on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and to help obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status.

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
The mission of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status. A US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), IGLHRC effects this mission through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.

[TOP]

 


 

THE NUMBERS: POLLING & STATISTICS:

Swedes support full marriage equality
Pride Source
January 31, 2008

Seventy-one percent of Swedes favor moving beyond the nation's 14-year-old registered-partnership law and granting gay couples access to full marriage, a new poll has found.

Record numbers of Australians in favor of marriage equality
Green Left
July 14, 2007

A report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC), launched on June 22, recommends that laws discriminating against gay people be removed. The report comes at a time when record numbers of Australians are in favor of granting gay and lesbian couples the protections and responsibilities of marriage.

Majority in Israel support gay couple rights
365Gay.com
July 11, 2007

The survey, by the German-based Friedrich Naumann Foundation, asked adult Israelis whether gay and lesbian couples should be afforded pension and survivorship rights. Fifty-sex percent said it is either good or necessary. Thirty-sex percent of those polled said it was "not good" with 9 percent unsure.

[TOP]

 


 

LEGISLATIVE STATUS ABROAD

International progress toward the freedom to marry
Freedom to Marry
April 2009

Where do other nations stand on achieving the freedom to marry?

Timeline Of Gay and Lesbian Marriage, Partnership or Unions Worldwide
UK Gay News compiles a timeline outlining legislation worldwide that has affected the marriage equality movement and its victories in the last two and a half decades. Continuously updated.

International Research Project on same-sex unions in Europe
The International Research Project on same-sex unions in Europe is a resource on European partnership laws.

[TOP]

 


 

PUBLICATIONS:

"We Only Want Equal Rights": How the Netherlands Got Same-Sex Marriage
Liz Farsaci
June 24, 2009

While gays and lesbians in America fight state by state for the right to marry, their counterparts in the Netherlands have had that right for eight years. Liz Farsaci talks to one of the men responsible.

South Africa Constitution Court Ruling for the freedom to marry
December 1, 2005
South Africa's Marriage/Civil Union Bill
As presented by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs (National Assembly
November 2006

GAY MARRIAGE: For Better or for Worse? What We've Learned From the Evidence
This book looks to Scandinavia where gay and lesbian couples have enjoyed the rights and benefits of marriage since 1989.

Civil Marriage Act, Statutes of Canada 2005, chapter 33
July 20, 2005
Read Canada's marriage law (Final version).

Spain's Prime Minister Zapatero defends equality and freedom for all
June 30, 2005
Complete text of the speech of the Prime Minister of the Government, José Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, to Parliament in defense of the reform of the Civil Code which will permit matrimony between persons of the same sex.

To Have and To Hold — Or Not: The Influence of the Christian Right on Gay Marriage Laws in the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States
Cece Cox
2005

This study compares the status of marriage laws in the Netherlands, the first country to grant gay people marriage rights, Canada, which federally recognized gay and lesbian couples' marriages just weeks after this article was published, and the United States, where one state recognizes marriage but numerous state and federal initiatives are still underway to ban recognition of same-sex couples' marriages.

Will Providing Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples Undermine Heterosexual Marriage? Evidence from Scandinavia and the Netherlands
M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D.
July 2004

Since the November 2003 court ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts, a new debate on expanding the right to marry has exploded across the United States. While the debate involves many issues, one particularly controversial question is whether heterosexual people would change their marriage behavior if same-sex couples were given the same marital rights and obligations. The report finds that overall, there is no evidence that giving partnership rights to same-sex couples had any impact on heterosexual marriage in Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands.

[TOP]

 


 

NEWS:

Gay and lesbian couples' freedom to marry — and the protections and responsibilities of marriage — are being realized around the world. Read the latest international news, as well as progress and challenges in specific countries.

[TOP]

 


 

MULTIMEDIA:

What Canadians think about same-sex marriage debate
December 5, 2006
A young Canadian filmmaker hit the local college in Edmonton to find out what people thought about the conservative government bringing the marriage debate back into the house of commons.

[TOP]

 

 

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

The mission of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status. A US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), IGLHRC effects this mission through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.

International progress toward the freedom to marry
Spain's Prime Minister Zapatero defends equality and freedom for all

June 30, 2005
Complete text of the speech of the Prime Minister of the Government, José Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, to Parliament in defense of the reform of the Civil Code which will permit matrimony between persons of the same sex.

Will Providing Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples Undermine Heterosexual Marriage? Evidence from Scandinavia and the Netherlands

M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D.
July 2004

Since the November 2003 court ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts, a new debate on expanding the right to marry has exploded across the United States. While the debate involves many issues, one particularly controversial question is whether heterosexual people would change their marriage behavior if same-sex couples were given the same marital rights and obligations. The report finds that overall, there is no evidence that giving partnership rights to same-sex couples had any impact on heterosexual marriage in Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands.