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Catalan Partnerships Begin

Estonian Lesbian Union Crashes

Alberta Lesbians Launch Adoption Case

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Catalan Partnerships Begin

catalonia.jpg - 16.61 KThe new registered-partnership law in Spain's Catalonia region took effect October 23. It grants cohabiting gay and straight couples many of the rights of matrimony but withholds adoption rights for gays.

Spousal rights are included in the areas of inheritance, alimony, next of kin, apartment leases and work leave. Rights that are a matter of national rather than regional law are not included -- in areas such as social security, taxation and immigration.

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

"We know that this law cannot be the final result of our fight for a full legal recognition of same-sex couples, but it is an important step for the Catalan gay-lesbian movement," Barcelona's Coordinadora Gai-Lesbiana said.

Countries with laws that grant same-sex couples nearly every right of matrimony include Denmark (and Greenland), Hungary, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Netherlands grants registered gay couples all spousal rights.
Estonian Lesbian Union Crashes

The Estonian Lesbian Union's former chair, Lilian Kotter, has been fined 15,000 kroons (US$1,142) by the nation's tax bureau for failure to file the group's paperwork and pay its taxes, according to the daily newspaper Eesti Paeevaleht.

The union's board of directors recently dismissed Kotter when they discovered there was no documentation of the group's operations, the paper said.

Kotter, the only open lesbian in Estonia, allegedly funneled the group's income through her own bank accounts and failed to keep track of how she spent donations from abroad and proceeds from local fundraising events.

In an e-mailed response to the news report, Kotter said: "It was full of contradiction, groundless accusations and lies, being actually a product of bad intentions of someone who ruined the Estonian Lesbian Union. ... I am really sorry and ashamed of what has happened to the ELU. But I cannot take responsibility on other people's behaviour. Of course I am hurt when somebody believes the lies about me and I am hurt if somebody spreads them."
Alberta Lesbians Launch Adoption Case

canada.gif - 24.58 KTwo lesbian couples have challenged the province of Alberta, Canada's ban on adoption by homosexuals.

The couples, whose names are protected by the Child Welfare Act, are demanding that the non-biological mother in each couple be allowed to adopt the son of the biological mother.

In both cases, the women raised the boy together since his birth following artificial insemination by an anonymous donor.

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