Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gay Marriage a Done Deal In Sweden

[AP: view source] STOCKHOLM — Sweden became the fifth European country to allow gay marriage.

Parliament on Wednesday adopted a new law that gives same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.

The Parliament's Web site says the new law will take effect on May 1.

The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Spain also allow gay marriages.

Sweden has recognized civil unions between homosexual couples since 1994. However, the old law stopped short of calling them marriages, which gay rights activists said was discriminatory.

It will still be up to individual churches to decide if they want to wed gay couples.

Swedish news agency TT says the 349-seat legislature passed the measure in 261-22 vote, with 66 lawmakers abstaining or absent.


JimB said...

I am curious, do you know what the obligations of counselor treaties impose on the US now? If for instance a Swedish couple is in an auto accident while here on tourist visas, does the fact that they are lawfully married in Norway obligate our hospitals to treat them that way?

I see some interesting litigation out there over time.


Erp said...

I suspect not legally. I don't think there is an obligation in the US to recognize any non-US marriage especially when neither participant is a US citizen.

Ethically a hospital should do so even if the marriage is not legal in the US (e.g., the second wife in a polygamous marriage).

Another issue might be children of same-sex couple visiting let us say Florida from abroad where both members are considered the parents in the country of origin. If a child is injured would both parents have access? Would a non-biological parent have access if the other parent was killed or incapacitated?

IT said...

Since they are not even obligated to recognize Americans who are legally married, I believe the answer is "no". And if one of them is an American, the answer is still "no".

I am so tired of the haters and bigots in this country. What difference does it make to them?