Korean society has been reluctant to recognize homosexual marriage. The Constitution of Korea does not say directly whether marriage can exist between homosexual couples. Although Korean Civil Code mentions void marriage and voidable marriages, homosexual marriage in the Korean legal system remains in the gray area. However, homosexuality is mostly rejected by the public, and many even regard it as a psychological problem.
The French government introduced and passed the Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS) in 1999. This gives unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex couples the same tax breaks and legal benefits as married couples. Also it made it easier for unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt children; however it did not extend the same option to homosexual couples. France also has a national health insurance plan which covers the partners of civil servants regardless of their sex.
Although in many African societies homosexuality is commonly accepted, the law prohibits it. According to article 214 of Nigerian Law, any persons who have sexual intercourse with the same sex are subject to, at most, 14 years of imprisonment. According to the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Committee (IGLHRC), many other African societies such as Kenya or Zamiba have similar laws that prohibit homosexual marriage.
In 2000, the upper house of the Dutch government passed a bill that enlarges the concept of marriage in the Netherlands. Since 2001, gay and lesbian couples who are either citizens of the Netherlands or who have residency permits have been able to marry and adopt children. This makes the Netherlands the first western country in modern history to have legalized gay and lesbian marriages.
About 20 states including California, offer registration of same-sex relationships. This gives registrants many of the rights and obligations that the state automatically gives to heterosexual married couples, such as tax relief. But only two states in America-Hawaii and Vermont-have laws recognizing homosexual marriages, under the name of "civil union" or "life partnership."
Republic of South Africa
The South African government passed the "Equality Bill" in 2002 that redefines marriage to include homosexuals. This law made marriage in South Africa include anyone "in a relationship, whether with a person of the same or the opposite sex." Also in 2002, South Africa"s highest court ruled that laws preventing homosexual couples from adopting children are unconstitutional.
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