Sweden Approves Marriage Equality

Today the Swedish parliament approved legislation that will make that country the seventh in the world to grant full marriage equality rights to all citizens.

A broad majority in the Swedish parliament Wednesday approved adoption of same-sex marriage legislation after a six-hour debate. Six of the seven parties in parliament had backed the proposal drafted by the Committee on Civil Affairs to introduce a gender- neutral marriage law. Only the Christian Democrats, one of the four parties in the ruling centre-right coalition, opposed the move. Yvonne Andersson said her party wanted to maintain “a several hundred-year-old concept” about marriage. Supporters of the gender-neutral legislation included Evon Frid of the Left Party who said it was “not a negative change, but a positive change.” The proposal was approved by a 261 to 22 vote, with 16 abstentions. The new legislation is to take effect as of May 1, and replaces the legislation approved in 1995 that allows same-sex couples to form a union in Sweden via registered partnership.

Seven countries now with full marriage equality: Sweden, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium.