Hawaii Civil Unions Approved; Marriage Equality Update

Three significant news items yesterday illustrated the continuing momentum towards marriage and family equality.

In Hawaii, the state senate has now given final approval to civil unions for same sex couples. All that is now required is for the Gobvernor to add his signature, which he has promised he will do, adding to the number which now offer marriage equality or near equality at state level. More will follow.

In Baltimore, another state senator has stepped off the fence, and announced he will vote in favour of the marriage bill next week. This makes at least 24 votes (and possibly 25) in favour, which will be enough for approval. Passage in the lower house and the governor’s signature should follow.

In Delaware, a new group (Equality Delaware) has been formed to push for civil unions, and has announced sponsors for a bill to be introduced to the legislature later this year. (A recent opinion poll showed that a plurality of Delaware voters support full marriage. This would suggest that the early prospects for the more cautious proposal of civil unions must be good).

For the record, here is the current rundown by state, for the US a.nd internationally.
.

US – full marriage:

  • Maine – 2004
  • Connecticut – 2009 (?)
  • Iowa – 2009
  • Hampshire – 2009
  • Vermont – 2009
  • DC – 2010
  • Maryland – legislation introduced, 2011, prospects good to excellent.
  • Rhode Island – legislation introduced, 2011, prospects unclear.
  • New York – legislation could be  introduced,by June  2011, prospects unclear .
  • California – under judicial review. Prospects unclear

US – near marriage

  • California – 1999
  • Colorado – 2009  legislation introduced to extend existing provisions 2011, prospects unclear.
  • New Jersey – 2006
  • Nevada – 2009
  • Maine – 2004
  • Washington – 2009
  • Illinois – 2011
  • Hawaii – 2011
  • Oregon – 2007
  • Wisconsin – 2009

International – full marriage

  • Netherlands – 2001
  • Belgium – 2003
  • Canada -2005
  • Spain – 2005
  • South Africa – 2006
  • Sweden – 2009
  • Norway – 2009
  • Portugal – 2010
  • Iceland – 2010
  • Argentina – 2010
  • Mexico – approved for Mexico City only, but recognized countrywide
  • Nepal – required by court order, to be included in new constitution in preparation
  • Luxembourg – legislation introduced 2010, but stalled
  • Finland – likely to be introduced 2012

International – near marriage

  • Denmark – 1989.
  • Greenland – 1996
  • France –  1999
  • Germany – 2001, extended in 2009
  • Finland – 2001
  • Luxembourg – 2004
  • UK – 2004
  • Andorra – 2005
  • New Zealand – 2005
  • Switzerland – 2005
  • Czech Republic -2006
  • Slovenia – 2006
  • Ecuador – 2008
  • Uruguay -2008
  • Colombia – 2009.
  • Austria – 2010
  • Ireland -2011
  • Chile – legislation introduced 2010 but stalled

Local jurisdictions with civil unions –

  • Australia: ACT, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania
  • Mexico –  Coahuila
  • Venezuela  –  Mérida

Unregistered Partnerships with legal protection:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Israel
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