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Same sex couples can now officially marry in Greenland

Joe Williams April 1, 2016
Wife and wife - not wife and "partner"

Wife and wife - not wife and "partner"

Greenland’s same-sex marriage law comes into effect today.

Same sex couples can now officially marry in Greenland, as the Marriage Act comes into effect after being unanimously voted in favour of last year.

MPs in the country, which has a population of 57,000, voted to adopt Danish legislation on the issue.

The new measure will now scrap Greenland’s domestic partnership laws, adopted from Denmark in 1996.

The bill to make the changes to bring Greenland in line with Denmark, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2012, was announced last February and was originally supposed to go into effect in October.

It lapsed due to Denmark’s summer parliamentary elections.

However, a second, almost-identical bill was submitted to parliament in October 2015 and was once again passed unanimously, receiving Royal Assent in early February.

Nivi Olson, the Minister for the Church, said: “We have long waited for this day.

“To have the opportunity to enter into marriage means a lot to many couples regardless of the gender of one’s partner.”

Greenland’s Bishop Sofie Petersen – the province’s top religious figure – worked closely with the government to ensure the law would allow same-sex couples to marry in churches and other religious buildings.

The joint adoption clause included in Greenland’s new Marriage Act will go into effect on July 1.

Greenland in 2008 introduced discrimination protection for gay people, and in 2010 held its first gay pride event.

More: adoption, Denmark, Europe, Gay, greenland, LGBT, same sex marriage

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