Monday, June 20, 2011

Liechtenstein approves gay civil unions

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Map of Liechtenstein
[full size (325×352)]

Progress in equality must be recognized everywhere, and now even the tiny country of Liechtenstein, which has a total population that could fit into your living room, has surpassed the US federal government when it comes to LGBT rights:

Liechtenstein has voted to officially recognize gay civil partnerships, in a law closely modelled on Switzerland's legislation.

Residents of the tiny principality voted in favour of the move on Sunday, media reported.

Gay and lesbian couples will receive the same tax, inheritance and welfare rights as come with marriage following a referendum in which 68 percent supported the law, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

Parliament had all but adopted the legislation earlier this year but its critics, the group Vox Populi, called for a public poll.

The new law is based on the Swiss model which came into effect in 2007 and therefore excludes the right to adopt children.

"With this clear 'yes' to partnerships, Liechtenstein... is putting an end to the current discrimination faced by same-sex couples," ATS quoted Prime Minister Klaus Tschuetscher as saying.

The tiny country tucked between Switzerland and Austria has a population of about 35,000.

You can’t really say you’re “putting an end” to discrimination against same-sex couples when you’re still preventing them from adopting children of their own (or from marrying outright, as well). But, as always, any progress is preferable to the alternative.

(via Joe. My. God.)