Andorra expected to pass marriage equality bill this summer

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The tiny European nation looks set to introduce same-sex marriage.

Andorra, a small country in-between France and Spain, looks set to introduce marriage equality later this year. The bill will be introduced by the governing coalition which comprises of the Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Committed Citizens.

Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal in Andorra since 2014, but this new law will remove differences between gay civil unions and straight casaments, or weddings. The laws around marriage under church law will remain unchanged.

The draft bill says: “From the entry into force of this law, the Andorran legal system will recognize two forms of marriages, civil marriage, to which both gay couples like heterosexual couples, and canonical marriage.”

Speaking to Bondia, Democrat councilor, Ester Molné, said: “The term civil union was confusing, especially when it was necessary to register in foreign civil registries, which were not always recognized and therefore the affected couple could not be registered.”

And Committed Citizens councilor, Carlos Naudi added that the law was “an important step forward in making life easier for people.”

Although Andorra’s laws benefit those in the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities, including allowing men who have sex with men to donate blood, the laws are not in favour of the trans and non-binary communities.

Although the country has anti-discrimination and hate crime laws in place for sexual orientation, it doesn’t have them in place for gender identity. It is also illegal to change gender in Andorra, and there is no third gender option.

Same-sex marriage is becoming legal in more countries, and is having quite the effect as well. Last month, it was reported that since Taiwan legalised same-sex marriage last May, nearly 3,000 same-sex weddings have been recorded in the country.

Out of the 2,939 same-sex weddings to take place, 2,011 were between female couples, and 928 were between male couples. Most of the marriages took place in New Taipei City, with 614, there were 484 in Taipei City and 396 in Kaohshing City.

Related: First same-sex marriage takes place in Northern Ireland

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