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Marriage equality in Greenland: marriages begin in the massive, but sparely populated, autonomous island country in the Danish Realm.

GREENLAND'S same-sex-marriage law went into effect on April 1. No, it wasn't a joke.

The marriage bill, which is an adoption of Denmark's matrimonial laws, was passed unanimously by both the Greenlandic Parliament and the Danish Parliament in May 2015. It had taken two years for the bill to be approved; the same-sex-marriage bill was presented in 2014, but it was put on hold when Greenland's former prime minister Aleqa Hammond stepped down over a spending scandal.

After new elections, the marriage bill was approved by the GreenLandic Parliament on a vote of 27-0. This unanimous vote allowed the island, an autonomous Danish territory, to celebrate same-sex weddings with the approval of Greenland's Bishop, who has welcomed the arrival of a gender-neutral marriage law.

The Church of Greenland worked closely with the government to amend the portion of the Danish law that covered same-sex blessings in religious weddings. The joint adoption clause that was included in Greenland's new Marriage Act will go into effect on July 1.

A statement on the Greenlandic Parliament's website celebrated the beginning of a new era of marriage equality. Nivi Olsen, Minister of the Church in Greenland, wrote:

"We have long waited for this day. To have the opportunity to enter into marriage means a lot to many couples regardLess of the gender of one's partner. I am therefore pleased that a united Parliament adopted in 2010, finally made it a reality. The Government warmly welcomes this new opportunity and the national church rejoices that we are ready for the new era."

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Title Annotation:ADVANCE
Author:Sauvalle, Julien
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1GREE
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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