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Norway to Become Sixth Nation to Provide Marriage Equality?

Timothy Kincaid

March 14th, 2008

norway.jpgIn 1996 Norway became one of the first nations to offer recognition of same-sex couples. Since then, several nations have gone further, removing gender restrictions from marriage laws, thus eliminating the separate-but-equal status of gay couples.

First was the Netherlands in 2001, followed by Belgium in 2003. Then Canada and Spain raced for next in line in 2005, followed by South Africa in 2006.

Now Norway has introduced legislation that would make them the sixth nation to provide marriage equality.

Norway already has a so-called “partnership law” that has allowed homosexuals to form legal domestic partnerships. Now they likely will be able to marry, with all the rights that entails, since the government has a majority in parliament and the law is expected to win approval.

After over a decade of experience with same-sex couples, the minister in charge of children’s and family issues, Anniken Huitfeldt, has come to a conclusion.

“The new law won’t weaken marriage as an institution,” Huitfeldt claimed. “Rather, it will strengthen it. Marriage won’t be worth less because more can take part in it.”

But Norway’s legislature had better hurry if they want to take sixth place. Sweden is rushing for that spot.

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