[JURIST] The Swedish Parliament [official website, in Swedish] on Wednesday voted in favor [press release, in Swedish] of a gender-neutral marriage law, repealing a previous law on registered partnerships. The legislation [proposal, in Swedish] would allow same-sex couples already partnered through the existing legislation to either continue their legal partnerships or to apply for marriage status. The law was opposed by the Christian Democrats [HBL report, in Swedish], but supported by the Liberal, Moderate, Center, Green, Left, and Social Democrat parties. The Swedish Parliament addressed concerns about children raised in same-sex marriages by stating that the legislation benefits everyone, including children, by changing societal attitudes on homosexuals. The legislation, which takes effect on the first of May, specifies that members of the clergy will be appointed to conduct civil marriages instead of judges.
Same-sex marriage laws were recently passed by the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the Vermont Senate [JURIST reports], although the Governor of Vermont warned that he would veto the legislation. In December, Hungary struck-down [JURIST report] a same-sex partnership law by alleging that it would diminish the importance of marriage. In November, the Australian Senate approved [JURIST report] a same-sex equal rights law but did not grant the right to marry.