The bill, approved on Friday by the country's core cabinet, would amend the country's civil code to grant couples of the same sex virtually the same legal status as heterosexual couples.
But it stopped short of allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. The cabinet is to present the bill to parliament in the next few weeks, a Justice Ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
"It could become law at the beginning of 2002 at the earliest," he said. The bill follows a law passed in 1998 recognizing gay and lesbian couples who live together as households with some of the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

In April, the Netherlands witnessed the world's first legal same-sex weddings as a lesbian couple and three gay-male couples tied the knot minutes after a law came into effect on the first day of the month.

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Belgium next in same sex weddings.

by Frank Rovers in History & Politics , 26 juni 2001


Belgium's government has approved a bill allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a move that would make it the second country in the world to legalize same-sex weddings after the Netherlands.

The bill, approved on Friday by the country's core cabinet, would amend the country's civil code to grant couples of the same sex virtually the same legal status as heterosexual couples.
But it stopped short of allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. The cabinet is to present the bill to parliament in the next few weeks, a Justice Ministry spokesman said on Saturday.
"It could become law at the beginning of 2002 at the earliest," he said. The bill follows a law passed in 1998 recognizing gay and lesbian couples who live together as households with some of the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

In April, the Netherlands witnessed the world's first legal same-sex weddings as a lesbian couple and three gay-male couples tied the knot minutes after a law came into effect on the first day of the month.

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