by Rex Wockner
Denmark, which enacted the world’s first same-sex civil union law in 1989, extended adoption rights to gay couples March 17.
Parliamentarians voted for the measure 62-53, with 64 legislators not present.
The bill was supported by the opposition Social Democrats and Socialist People’s Party. The ruling Liberal Party opposed it, though seven Liberal MPs broke ranks and voted for it.
Denmark’s groundbreaking 1989 “registered partnership” law granted same-sex couples more than 99 percent of the rights and obligations of marriage – a model that later was copied by several other European nations.
Beginning in 2001 with the Netherlands, gay couples began gaining access to marriage itself. Same-sex marriage now is possible in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain and the U.S. states of Connecticut and Massachusetts.
From June to November 2008, gays in California also could marry, until voters amended the state constitution to stop it. The constitutionality of the amendment, known as Proposition 8, is now being reviewed by the California Supreme Court.