Same-Sex "Marriages" Begin in Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, APR. 1, 2001 ( Four homosexual couples exchanged rings and vows at Amsterdam´s City Hall just after midnight, when the law legalizing same-sex “marriages” took effect.

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The couples are the first of hundreds waiting to enjoy wedded status under the world´s first laws allowing same-sex marriages. The Dutch law was enacted after more than 15 years of campaigning to award homosexual couples equal rights under civil law.

Minutes after the law took effect, Amsterdam´s mayor officiated at the ceremonies of three male couples and a lesbian couple.

Homosexual couples under the new laws are able to apply for court approval to adopt Dutch children. Only Dutch nationals or resident foreigners living with a Dutch partner are eligible for the same-sex marriages.

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