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Malta legalises gay civil unions, adoption

Malta's parliament passed a law Monday legalising same-sex civil partnerships and giving gay couples the right to adopt. The Mediterranean island country's parliament passed the bill by a vote of 37-0. The opposition abstained because it opposes gay adoption but not gay unions, said its leader Simon Busuttil. Thousands of supporters cheered the law's passage on the central square in the capital Valletta. Catholicism is the state religion in Malta, the European Union's smallest member state.

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".

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.

Idaho's top court grants adoptive rights to spouse in gay marriage

By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Idaho's top court on Monday ruled that state law allows a woman to adopt the children of her same-sex spouse, in a precedent-setting victory for gay couples in a socially conservative U.S. state that has banned the unions. The ruling stems from an adoption petition filed last year by an Idaho woman shortly after her marriage in California to her same-sex partner, the parent of boys ages 12 and 15, legal records showed.

Russia's Putin signs law banning gay adoptions

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Wednesday banning the adoption of children by same-sex couples, as part of an increasingly conservative agenda the Kremlin is pursuing since his return to power. Earlier this week Putin signed another law banning gay "propaganda", which human rights groups say has fuelled hate crimes against homosexuals.

Germany 'concerned' by Russian anti-gay adoption bill

Germany on Friday said it was concerned by Russian anti-gay legislation, after lawmakers approved a bill to restrict the adoption of Russian children in over a dozen countries allowing same-sex marriages. "I cannot hide that I am concerned about this development in Russia and (these) domestic discussions about discrimination of sexual minorities in Russia," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters while on a visit to Lithuania.

Russia seeks to ban adoption to foreign gay couples

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday debated a bill which would place tough restrictions on adoption to countries where same-sex marriages are legal, following France's vote last month allowing such unions. The bill could ban people in over a dozen countries from adopting Russian orphans even if they are single, according to proposed amendments being discussed in the Duma lower house of parliament. It is likely to be swiftly passed and President Vladimir Putin has already vowed to sign it into law. The bill, already in the second of three readings, will be voted on later Tuesday.

Vincent and Bruno say 'I do' in France's first gay marriage

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau said "I do" on Wednesday at an emotional ceremony celebrating France's first official gay marriage after months of sometimes violent protests. "It is a great honour to tell you that you are united in marriage by law," Helene Mandroux, the visibly moved mayor of the southern city of Montpellier, told the couple as Frank Sinatra's song "Love and Marriage" filled the room.

French president signs gay marriage bill into law

France on Saturday became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate. Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had been the last obstacle to passing the bill into law. The legislation also legalises gay adoption. But while gay rights groups hailed the move, opponents of the measures have vowed to fight on.
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