Sweden Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

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Sweden's parliament approved same-sex marriage legislation, according to the parliament's website.

Previously, two people of the same sex could register their partnership, but with this vote, sex will no longer matter when two people want to get married. The new "sex-neutral" law will take effect May 1.

Couples who already had a registered partnership can now either stay in that union or transform it into a marriage if they wish, the website said. The "yes" votes numbered 261, while 22 members of parliament voted "no" and 16 chose not to vote.

The Christian Democrats was the only party opposed to the new law. The party had instead proposed a law that would remove the word "marriage" from Swedish law and replace it with a legally binding union between two persons, thus separating it from the Christian ceremony that the church conducts.


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