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Portugal rejects gay partner adoption law

Lisbon Friday shot down a law that would allow same-sex couples to adopt the child of their partner, a step back for gay rights in Portugal. The so-called "co-parenting" bill, backed by the left-leaning opposition in Portugal's 230-seat parliament, was rejected by a narrow majority. The law would have allowed that "when two people of the same sex are married or cohabiting and one of them has parental responsibility for a minor, by blood or adoption, the spouse may adopt the minor".

Divorce rate up 13-fold from 1950s: study

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's divorce rate in the 2000s was more than 13 times higher than in the 1950s as more couples parted ways amid rapid social change, a government study showed Thursday. According to the study by the government-run Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations, the country's crude divorce rate, which indicates the number of divorces per 1,000 people, came to 2.72 in the 2000-2010 period, compared with 0.20 in the 1951-1959 period.

Western U.S. Republicans to urge appeals court to back gay marriage

By Eric M. Johnson (Reuters) - Republicans from Western states are expected on Tuesday to urge a U.S. appeals court to rule state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, an aide said, citing shifts in the cultural standpoints of some conservatives in a broad national debate. Former U.S. senators Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas were among some 20 Republicans who signed a legal brief to be filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

Three things divorced parents need to know about college

By Geoff Williams (Reuters) - Figuring out how to split childcare costs when you're divorcing is not easy, but it can be like remedial math compared to deciding who pays what for your children's college education. There are countless issues that can come up, but if you're divorced and have visions of your children someday showing you their college diploma, here are three things you need to know: 1. Negotiate now

Pope urges sympathy for failed love in divorce debate

Pope Francis on Friday said couples whose marriages fail should be "accompanied" and not "condemned", wading into a debate on divorce that is testing his promise to put the Church in touch with modern life. "When love fails, and it fails many times, we have to feel the pain of that failure, accompany the people who have felt the failure of their love," the pope said during the daily mass he holds in the Vatican. "Don't condemn them! Walk with them!" he said, adding: "We have to be so close to the brothers and sisters who have suffered the failure of love in their lives".

Legal 'pre-nups' plan for England

Legally-binding pre-marriage agreements setting out the terms of a potential future divorce were recommended to the British government by their law reform advisors on Thursday. The Law Commission, which reviews English law and proposes changes, made the recommendation in its report entitled Matrimonial Property Needs and Agreements. Their draft bill would bring legally-recognised "qualifying nuptial agreements" into effect.

Adopted children fight Irish state secrecy to find parents

By Carmel Crimmins and Padraic Halpin OMAGH, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Catherine Droogan turns 40 this year. That's one of the few personal details she can be sure of. Adopted at four weeks from a convent in eastern Ireland, Droogan doesn't know who her parents were or where she was born. She is not even certain who actually named her Catherine.

German court rejects case to allow gay adoption on technicality

By Norbert Demuth KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court on Friday threw out a case to grant gay couples the right to jointly adopt a child on a technicality, but gay rights activists noted that a ruling by the same court last February effectively allowed it. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservatives have been accused of dragging their feet over gay rights - leaving it to judges of the Constitutional Court to grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

German court rejects case to allow gay adoption on technicality

By Norbert Demuth KARLSRUHE, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court on Friday threw out a case to grant gay couples the right to jointly adopt a child on a technicality, but gay rights activists noted that a ruling by the same court last February effectively allowed it. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservatives have been accused of dragging their feet over gay rights - leaving it to judges of the Constitutional Court to grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Arizona lawmakers pass bill to allow faith-based refusal of services

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to customers when such work would violate their religious beliefs, in a move critics describe as a license to discriminate against gays and others.
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