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Equality for Same-Sex CouplesThe Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States$
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Yuval Merin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226520315

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226520339.001.0001

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Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships in Other European Countries

Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships in Other European Countries

(p.130) Chapter 5 Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships in Other European Countries
Equality for Same-Sex Couples
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the recognition of same-sex partnerships in several European countries. Hungary is one of the few countries other than the northern European countries that provides recognition of same-sex partnerships at the national level. On March 8, 1995, the Hungarian Constitutional Court extended the application of common law marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Thus, whereas in the northern European countries the reform process was a statutory one, the law in Hungary was changed through a judicial act and only afterward was implemented by legislation. In recent years the French legislature and the courts have gradually granted limited benefits to unmarried cohabiting couples. However, it was the French legislature that eventually provided some degree of equality to same-sex couples; the courts were more hesitant and reluctant to do so and limited themselves to expanding the rights of heterosexual cohabitants. In November 2000, Germany enacted a version of a registered partnership act at the federal level. The new act has dramatically affected the status of gay men and lesbians in Germany, a country that until recently lacked any kind of federal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Keywords:   same-sex partnerships, Hungary, France, Germany, judicial act, cohabiting couples, common law, registered partnerships, gay couples

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