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social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Belgium  
 
page: 1  2  

It was not until January of 2003 that the law legalizing same-sex marriage actually passed, spearheaded by a former minister of public health, Magda Aelvoet. Aelvoet suggested the marriage law as a simple and practical way of ensuring the equality of homosexual and heterosexual partnerships without having to create an entirely new law for gay men and lesbians. Gay activists throughout Belgium and around the world applauded the law, though it did include several compromises in order to gain approval from conservatives.

For one thing, the 2003 law legalized marriage only between Belgian citizens, or between a Belgian citizen and a citizen of a country in which gay marriage is legal. Since only two countries in the world, the Netherlands and Belgium, have legalized same-sex marriage, this placed severe limits on the scope of the law. In addition, the marriage law does not include adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples, or second-parent adoption if one partner already has children. Therefore, while single people in Belgium can legally adopt, married gay men and lesbians cannot.

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However, progress continues to be made. In January 2004, a new law was passed allowing Belgian gay men and lesbians to marry citizens of any other country. Gay activists plan to press for adoption rights in 2004.

Tina Gianoulis

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   Related Entries
  
social sciences >> Overview:  Military Culture: European

Attitudes toward gay and lesbian personnel in European militaries vary widely, from the acceptance of the Dutch to the laissez-faire policy of the French to the rejection of the Greek and Turkish forces.

social sciences >> Overview:  The Netherlands

The successes of the Dutch emancipation movement have served as an inspiration to the international struggle for glbtq equality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is a worldwide federation of local and national groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for glbtq people.


    Bibliography
   

Cabral, Juan Pérez. "A Gay Spring in Brussels." The Gully website: www.thegully.com/essays/gaymundo/010523gay_belgium.html.

Fitzmaurice, John. The Politics of Belgium. London: Hurst, 1996.

Savage, Todd. "Belgium Says 'I do.'" The Advocate (March 18, 2003): 15-17.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Gianoulis, Tina  
    Entry Title: Belgium  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated December 29, 2004  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/belgium.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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