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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 27 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 26
Luxembourg OKs same-sex marriage
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Luxembourg OKs same-sex marriage

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The small European country of Luxembourg approved same-sex marriage on June 18. The vote in the Country's Chamber of Deputies was a lopsided 56-4 in favor of equality.

The bill also allows same-sex couples both open and closed adoptions. In other words, the adopting couple may choose to allow birth parents to retain access to information about the child, or not. The same option is available to opposite-sex couples who adopt.

The law will go into effect January 1, 2015.

Although Luxembourg has a reigning Grand Duke, the Duke's signature is no longer necessary to enact a law. In 2008 Grand Duke Henri refused to sign a bill permitting euthanasia, and the Chamber of Deputies promptly stripped him of his power to veto legislation.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, leads the center-right Democratic Party, but governs in coalition with the Socialists and the Green Party.

The marriage bill was introduced in May 2012, under the previous government, and passed with support from all sides of Luxembourg's political spectrum.

Luxembourg has somewhat more than half a million inhabitants, but has its own national language. Luxembourgish is an ancient Germanic language, still used in everyday conversation. The country uses the languages of its neighbors, France and Germany, for business.

Since 1980 it has been illegal for Luxembourg's government to collect data on religious affiliation, but according to a 2010 Pew Research survey, 70.4% of the population identifies as Christian - most of them Roman Catholic - 2.3% are Muslims, and 0.5% are members of 'other religions.' Almost 27% of Luxembourgers say they are 'unaffiliated' with any religion.

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