[JURIST] The Norwegian government [official website] brought forward a draft law Friday that would grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, replacing a 1993 law which merely granted gay couples the right to enter into civil unions. The proposal would allow gay couples to be married in a church but does not require a minister or religious organization to perform the ceremony. It also gives lesbians the right to assisted pregnancies and allows gay couples to be considered adoptive parents. It is unclear whether the measure, supported by Minister of Children and Equality Anniken Huitfeldt [official profile], will pass the parliament without changes.
Denmark became the first country to allow gays to enter into civil unions in 1989. The Netherlands was the first country to give gay couples the full right of marriage in 2001. AP has more. The International Herald Tribune has additional coverage.