Europarliament Favors Marital Rights for Homosexual Couples

STRASBOURG, France, JAN. 17, 2003 ( The European Parliament narrowly approved a report asking the 15 member states to give live-in couples, including homosexuals, the same legal rights that marriages enjoy.

The final vote on amendments to the annual report on rights in the European Union rejected an article that “urged” the member states “to permit marriage between persons of the same sex.”

The amended report was approved 277 to 269, with 14 abstentions.

The relator of the report was Dutch Labor Party member Joke Swiebel, chairwoman of the Europarliament’s Gay and Lesbian Intergroup.

The vote isn’t binding on the member states, but rather constitutes a legal point of reference for them.