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3 German States Introduce Partners Measure in Parliament

Spain's 'Evolving' Catalonia Region Passes Partners Law

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

germany.gif - 18.74 KThree German states have introduced a bill in the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to ban discrimination against same- sex couples.

The measure extends to gay partners nearly every privilege of matrimony -- including access to adoption and the right not to testify against each other in court.

If Helmut Kohl's center-right government loses office in September's federal elections, the measure has a good chance of becoming law, activists said.

Meanwhile, more than 200,000 people turned out for Berlin's gay and lesbian pride parade June 28, walking from the glitzy Kurfuerstendamm shopping street to Bebelplatz Square on the east side of the city.

At the post-parade rally, gay Member of Parliament Volker Beck demanded that gays be allowed to marry.

Spain's Evolving Catalonia Region Passes Partners Law

The parliament of Spain's Catalonia region, where Barcelona is, passed a bill June 30 that gives cohabiting gay and straight couples many of the rights of matrimony but withholds adoption rights for gays.

The vote was 100-12.

Spousal rights in areas such as inheritance, alimony, next of kin, apartment leases, and work leave are included. Other rights -- in areas such as Social Security, taxation and immigration -- are not included because they're matters of national rather than regional law.

Couples must file a notarized document attesting to the nature of their relationship to access the new rights.

"The law ... shows that Spain is evolving, modernizing, shunning machismo," said Jordi Petit, Barcelona-based secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. "But the bill is ... discriminatory in that it has excluded adoption rights to couples of the same sex." Spain's Catholic Episcopal Conference denounced the law. Petit responded that the bishops were engaging in "unacceptable meddling."

The other countries with laws that grant same-sex couples nearly every right of matrimony are Denmark (and Greenland), Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Rex Wockner's weekly international news reports dating back to May 1994 can be searched at The reports in their original form are archived at, which also archives Wockner's Quote Unquote column and some of his longer gay-press articles.

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