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Same-Sex Marriage Research Guide: Country by Country

A Selective Bibliography of the Legal Literature compiled by Paul Axel-Lute originally published September 2002 last updated March 7, 2017/ DC







Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario, Ley 26.618, approved July 21, 2010, available at,15.php and at


Vaggione, Juan Marco, ."Sexual Rights and Religion: Same-Sex Marriage and Lawmakers' Catholic Identity in Argentina," University of Miami Law Review, 65:935-954 (2011)


Basset, Ursula C., "How the Battle to Redefine Marriage Affected Family Law in Argentina," BYU Journal of Public Law, 27:529-540 (2013)




Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill, Bills Digest No.155 2003-04 / Jennifer Norberry, 4 June 2004, The bill, introduced May 27, 2004, would define marriage as "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life," and would prevent same sex couples from adopting children from abroad under treaty arrangements.


"Current Trends in the Regulation of Same-Sex Relationships," edited by Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris, Law in Context [The Federation Press], v.28 no.1 (2011) (seven articles)


Ireland, Ian, "The High Court and the Meaning of 'Marriage' in Section 51(xxi) of the Constitution" (Dep't of the Parliamentary Library, Research Note No.17, 2001-02)(Feb.12,2002),


Sarantakos, Sotirios, "Same-Sex Marriage: Which Way to Go?" Alternative Law Journal, 24:79-84 (April 1999), http://www.


Sifris, Adiva; & Paula Gerber, "Same-Sex Marriage in Australia: A Battleground for Equality," Australian Journal of Family Law, 25:96-120 (2011)


Taylor, Luke, "Getting over it? The future of same-sex marriage in Australia," Australian Journal of Family Law, 27:26-58 (May 2013)


Witzleb, Normann, "Marriage as the 'Last Frontier'? Same-Sex Relationship Recognition in Australia," International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family. 25:135-164 (2011)


Zimmermann, Augusto, "The Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage in Australia (and Other Related Issues)," BYU Journal of Public Law, 27:465-488 (2013)


Australian Capital Territory, Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, as inconsistent with federal law by Commonwealth v. Australian Capital Territory, [2013] HCA 55 (High Court of Australia, Dec.13, 2013),




The text of the law of February 13, 2003 opening civil marriage to same-sex couples, as published in the Moniteur Belge of Feb.28, 2003 at pages 9880-9884, in French and Flemish, is available at It went into effect June 1, 2003.


Fiorini, Aude, "New Belgian Law on Same Sex Marriage and the PIL Implications," International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 52:1039-1049 (2003)




Enunciado Adminstrativo No.14 (National Council of Justice, May 14, 2013),, ruled that notaries public cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriages.




Court decisions allowing same-sex marriage


EGALE Canada Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) (also styled Barbeau v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2003 BCCA 251, 13 B.C.L.R. 4th 1, 225 D.L.R. (4th) 472, [2003] 7 W.W.R. 22 (B.C. Ct.App., May 1, 2003), In this decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeals, following the lead of the Ontario Divisional Court, reformulated the common-law definition of marriage, but suspended the remedy for two years. After the Ontario Court of Appeal gave immediate effect to the remedy in that province on June 10, 2003, the British Columbia Court of Appeals followed suit, lifting its suspension of the remedy at 2003 BCCA 406, 15 B.C.L.R. (4th) 226, 228 D.L.R. (4th) 416 (July 8, 2003).


Halpern v. Attorney General, Docket C39172 (Ontario Court of Appeal, June 10, 2003), opinion on Court website, In this decision the Ontario Court of Appeal, with immediate effect, declared the existing common law definition of marriage to be invalid to the extent that it refers to "one man and one woman," and reformulated the common law definition of marriage as "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others." ( The decision below was Halpern v. Canada (Attorney General), 215 D.L.R. (4th) 223, 60 O.R. (3d) 321, (Ontario Divisional Court, July 12, 2002), ). For more information, including factums (briefs) in the case, see the Equal Marriage website at )


Hendricks c. Procureur Général, [2002] R.J.Q. 2506 (Quebec Cour Supérieure, Sept.6, 2002),, affirmed as Ligue Catholique pour les Droits de l'Homme c. Hendricks, No. 500-09-012719-027 (Quebec Cour d'Appel, March 19, 2004). (For English-language summary see


Dunbar v. Government of the Yukon Territory, 2004 YKSC 54 (Yukon Territory Supremne Court, July 14, 2004),


N.W. v. Attorney General, 2004 SKQB 434 (Saskatchewan, Queen's Bench, Family Law Division, November 5, 2004),


Reference re Same-Sex Marriage, 2004 SCC 79, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 698, Court of Canada, December 9, 2004). Held that it was within the power of the federal Parliament to recognize same-sex marriage; declined to answer the question whether the opposite-sex definition of marriage was consistent with the Charter.




Factum of the Attorney General of Canada, In the matter of . . . the Proposal for an Act respecting certian aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes . . ., Court File No. 29866 (in the Supreme Court of Canada) [Oct.24, 2003],


Civil Marriage Act, Statutes of Canada 2005 chapter 33, (received Royal Assent July 20, 2005)


Other sources


Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples,


Glass, Christy M. and Nancy Kubasek, "The Evolution of Same-Sex Marriage in Canada: Lessons the U.S. Can Learn from Their Northern Neighbor Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Rights," Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, 15:143-204 (2008)


Symposium: "Domestic Partnerships," Canadian Journal of Family Law, 17:11-282 (2000) (eight articles, including one on Europe and one on New South Wales)


Law Commission of Canada, "The Case for Same-Sex Marriage," in: Beyond Conjugality: Recognizing and Supporting Close Personal Adult Relationships(2001), available at, at pages 129-131 (pages 153-155 of PDF)


MacDougall, Bruce, "The Celebration of Same-Sex Marriage," Ottawa Law Review 32:235-267 (Spring 2001)


Casswell, Donald G., "Moving Toward Same-Sex Marriage," Canadian Bar Review, 80:810-856 (Oct.2001)


Alberta Law Reform Institute, Recognition of rights and obligations in same sex relationships. (January 2002) (Research Paper no.21) [ Call no.KEA458.3.G39 R42 2002 ]


"Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions: A Discussion Paper," Department of Justice Canada, Nov.2002


Radbord, Joanna, & Martha McCarthy, "Marriage (P)reference - Equality, Dignity and Individual Voices," National Journal of Constitutional Law, 17:213-260 (2004)


Beattie, Steven, "Tracing the Steps Toward Same-Sex Union Recognition and Marriage in Canada,"


Hogg, Peter. "Canada: the Constitution and Same-Sex Marriage." International Journal of Constitutional Law, 4:712-721 (2006).




Sentencia C-577/11, summarized in English press release,; held that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry within two years.




Sala Constitucional costarricense, "Resuelve Recurso sobre Matrimonios del Mismo Sexo" Press release summarizing a May 23, 2006 decision upholding law prohibiting same-sex marriage.




Lov om ændring af lov om ægteskabs indgåelse og opløsning, lov om ægteskabets retsvirkninger og retsplejeloven og om ophævelse af lov om registreret partnerskab, [Law amending the Law on Marriage and dissolution, law on marriage legal effects and Justice Act and repealing the law on registered partnership], (June 12, 2012)




>ILGA Europe web site includes full texts of laws from European countries.


International Research Project on Same-Sex Unions in Europe, Includes links to several publications.


Boele-Woelki, Katharina. "The Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships within the European Union," Tulane Law Review, 82:1949-1981 (2008)


Curci, Jonathan, "The Evolution of the Legal Concepts of 'Family' and 'Marriage' in the EU Legal System and Its Impact on Society." St. Thomas Law Review, 18:227-258 (2005).


Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples in Europe / edited by Katharina Boele-Woelki & Angelike Fuchs (Antwerpen: Intersentia, 2003)


Tan,Yvette, "New Forms of Cohabitation in Europe: Challenges for English Private International Law," in Perspectives for the Unification and Harmonisation of Family Law in Europe / Katharina Boele-Woelki (editor), 4:437-461 (Intersentia Publishing, 2003)


Waaldijk, Kees (editor), More or Less Together: Levels of Legal Consequences of Marriage, Cohabitation and Registered Partnership for Different-Sex and Same-Sex Partners. A Comparative Study of Nine European Countries, Documents de travail no.125, Paris: Institut national d'études démographiques 2005, available at


Waaldijk, Kees, "Others May Follow: the Introduction of Marriage, Quasi-Marriage, and Semi-Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in European Countries," Judicial Studies Institute Journal, 5:104-124 (2005) available at (also published in symposium in New England Law Review, v. 38 no.3, available at


Hay v. Crédit agricole mutuel de Charente-Maritime et des Deux-Sèvres, No. C-267/12 (European Union Court of Justice, Dec. 12, 2013), link to judgment available at, press release No.159/13 at; held that in countries where same-sex marriage was not permitted, same-sex couples must be given same benefits as married couples.




LOI no 99-944 du 15 novembre 1999 relative au pacte civil de solidarité, JORF nº265 du 16 novembre 1999 page 16959 ,


Martin, C. & Théry, I., "The PACS and Marriage and Cohabitation in France," International Journal of Law Policy & Family, 15:135-158 (Apr. 2001)


Richards, Claudina, "The Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples--the French Perspective," International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 51:305-324 (Apr.2002)


Projet de Loi ouvrant de mariage aux couples de personnes de même sexe,Texte adopté no.120 (Apr 23, 2013),, law allowing same-sex marriage; upheld by: Décision no. 2013-669 DC du 17 mai 2013 (Constitutional Court),


Décision no. 2013-353 QPC du 18 octobre 2013 (Constitutional Court),, required mayors to officiate same-sex marriages even if against their moral or religious beliefs.




"Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz" (LPartG) website of Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland, Includes German text of the Life Partnership Law of Feb.16,2001, as amended. The "Rechtssprechung und juristische Literatur" section includes a link to the July 17,2002 Constitutional Court decision upholding the LPartG. The "Rechtsvergleichung"section gives German texts of laws of other European countries.


Levitt, Stephen Ross, "New Legislation in Germany Concerning Same- Sex Unions," ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, 7:469-493 (Spring 2001)




Law No. 65, June 22, 2010 (text in Icelandic),




Código Civil para el Distrito Federal [Mexico City Civil Code],, Art.146: " Matrimonio es la unión libre de dos personas para realizar la comunidad de vida, en donde ambos se procuran respeto, igualdad y ayuda mutua. Debe celebrarse ante el Juez del Registro Civil y con las formalidades que estipule el presente código." [as amended Dec. 29, 2009].


Acción de Inconstitucionalidad promovida por el Procurador General de la República contra actos de la Asamblea Legislativa y del Jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal, demandando la invalidez de los artículos 146 y 391 del Código Civil del Distrito Federal, publicados en la Gaceta Oficial del Distrito Federal de 29 de diciembre de 2009. Stenographic transcripts of the Mexican Supreme Court's discussions and votes, Aug.3 to 10, 2010. The Supreme Court held on Aug.5 that Mexico City's same-sex marriage law was constitutional, and on Aug.10 that all other Mexican states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City.


THE NETHERLANDS [Netherlands, Ministry of Justice], family law page,, includes a guidance document on same-sex marriage.


Wet van 21 december 2000 tot wijziging van Boek 1 van het Burgerlijk Wetboek in verband met de openstelling van het huwelijk voor personen van hetzelfde geslacht (Wet openstelling huwelijk) ("Law on the opening up of marriage"), Staatsblad 2001 no.9, can be accessed in Dutch, and in an unofficial English translation by Dr. Kees Waaldijk, on the ILGA Europe web site.


Maxwell, Nancy G., "Opening Civil Marriage to Same-Gender Couples: A Netherlands-United States Comparison," Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, 18:141-207 (2001)




New Zealand. Ministry of Justice, Same-Sex Couples and the Law, First published in Aug. 1999; includes "Discussion Paper" and "Backgrounding the Issues."


New Zealand. Law Commission, Recognising Same-Sex Relationships (Study Paper 4) (Dec.1999). Available at Includes English texts of Danish and Norwegian Registered Partnership Acts. site includes texts and analyses of pending Civil Unions Bill 2004 and Relationships (Statutory References) Bill 2004.


Joslin v New Zealand, Communication No 902/1999, UN Doc CCPR/C/75/D/902/1999 (U.N. Human Rights Committee, July 17, 2002), available at, found no right to same sex marriage under the International Convention for the Protection of Civil and Political Rights.


Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, Public Act 2013 No.30 (April 19, 2013),




By an act adopted June 11,2008 and effective Jan.1,2009, same-sex marriage is permitted in Norway. Text in Norwegian at:




Tribunal Constitucional, Acórdão no. 121,2010 (April 2010), Decision of Constitutional Court declaring validity of bill allowing same-sex marriage. Includes text of bill.


Lei no. 9/2010. D.R. no. 105, Série I de 2010-05-31, Official publication of the law, effective June 5, 2010.




Kulow, Marianne DelPo, "Same Sex Marriage: a Scandinavian Perspective," Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review, 24:419-438 (2002).




Fourie v. Minister of Home Affairs, Case No. 232/2003 (Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, November 30, 2004), Declared that "under the Constitution the common law of marriage has been developed to include same-sex unions." Documents on appeal to Constitutional Court available at The decision was affirmed by the Constitutional Court on December 1, 2005, under the name Lesbian and Gay Equality Project v. Minister of Home Affairs, but with a stay of twelve months to allow Parliament to correct the defects in the existing legislation. The decision was implemented by:


Civil Union Act, Act No.17 of 2006,


Smith, Bradley S. & J.A. Robinson, "The South African Civil Union Act 17 of 2006: A Good Example of the Dangers of Rushing the Legislative Process," BYU Journal of Public Law, 22:419-439 (2008)




Ley 13/2005, de 1 de julio, por la que se modifica el Código Civil en materia de derecho a contrær matrimonio, BOE núm 157, pag. 23632-23634,


Tribunal Constitucional de España, Sentencia 198/2012, de 6 de noviembre de 2012, (Decision of the Constitutional Court upholding the 2005 law.)


Garcimartín, Carmen, "The Spanish Law on Same-Sex Marriage: Constitutional Arguments," BYU Journal of Public Law, 27:443-464 (2013)




Betänkande 2008/09:CU19 Könsneutrala äktenskap och vigselfrågor,, Swedish gender-neutral marriage law, adopted April 1, 2009, effective May 1, 2009.




Bundesgesetz über die eingetragene Partnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare [Federal Law on Registered Partnerships of Same Sex Couples] (Partnerschaftsgesetz, PartG), SR 211.311, (effective Jan.1, 2007)




Murphy, John, "The Recognition of Same-Sex Families in Britain: the Role of Private International Law," International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 16:181-201 (2002)


Women & Equality Unit, "Civil Partnership,", includes links to the June 2003 consultation document Civil Partnership: a framework for the legal recognition of same-sex couples, and to the Nov.2003 Responses to Civil Partnership, and states that "The Government is committed to introducing legislation for a civil partnership scheme as soon as Parliamentary time allows."


Civil Partnership Registration: A legal status for committed same-sex couples in Scotland (Scottish Executive consultation paper, [Sept.] 2003).


Civil Partnership Bill 2003/04, (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association site with links to bill text and related documents)


Crown, Barry, "Civil Partnership in the U.K.--Some International Problems," New York Law School Law Review, 48:697-710 (2003/04)


Wilkinson v. Kitzinger, [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam), (July 31,2006). Declined to recognize Canadian same-sex marriage as valid in the U.K.


Wright, Wade K., "The Tide in Favour of Equality: Same-Sex Marriage in Canada and England and Wales," International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family, 20: 249-285 (2006).


Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013, (approved July 16, 2013); The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2013, Applies to England and Wales, effective March 29, 2014.




Ley No. 19.075, Matrimonio Igualitario, (April 11, 2013)


International Aspects


Family, Unvalued: Discrimination, Denial, and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples under U.S. Law (Human Rights Watch, 2006). Available at


Samar, Vincent J., "Throwing Down the International Gauntlet: Same-Sex Marriage as a Human Right," Cardozo Public Law Policy & Ethics Journal, 6:1-55 (2007).


Waaldijk, Kees, "Same Sex Partnership, International Protection," Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, online edition, Includes sections discussing international protection of right to civil marriage, and recognition of same sex marriages by international bodies.