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Same sex marriage law passed by wide majority
Same sex partners will now be able marry as the Norwegian parliament passed a new marriage law on Wednesday. Adoption will be easier and lesbian couples will qualify for state funded fertility treatment.
Aftenposten, 12/6/2008
Conservative religious groups have tried to mobilize opposition against the new law. They worry about the status of marriage in Norway. Progress Party members are concerned about how children will cope with same sex marriages.
Despite efforts from these opponents, the law passed by a two thirds majority.
After the vote Wednesday evening, opponents from the Christian Democrats and Progress Party were among the first to leave. Supporters of the legislation stayed behind to celebrate.
“I am extremely pleased that we managed to get this last stage passed. Now we have to tackle the prejudice which still exists in society,” Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen, also leads the Socialist Left Party, told news bureau NTB.
Norway is the sixth country to adopt same sex marriage laws. Holland was first in 2001. Norway has had a Registered Partner law since 1993.
The most controversial aspect of the new law is offering state funded fertility treatment to lesbian couples. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Great Britain already provides this service. Up to now, Norwegian lesbian couples have gone to Denmark for this procedure.
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