Lawmakers in the tiny European Grand Duchy of Luxembourg overwhelmingly passed a bill today granting equal marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples. The measure was passed by a vote of 56-4.
The Luxemburger Wort für Wahrheit und Recht reported on the contents of the bill back in May:
The bill, which also includes reforms on other aspects of family law, was first introduced at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies in May 2012, and has taken over two years to pass to a vote in parliament.
Several changes were made along the way. Most importantly, same-sex couples were granted the right to both closed and open adoption. A previous version of the bill had foreseen that same-sex couples would only be allowed open adoption, in which birth parents retain access to information about their child.
The Luxembourg State Council, however, ruled that this was discriminatory and threatened to withhold approval should closed adoption not be made available to same-sex couples also.
Luxembourg joins fellow Benelux nations Belgium and the Netherlands in the marriage equality column, along with eight other European countries: Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Justice Minister Félix Braz told the Luxemburger Wort für Wahrheit und Recht in May that if the government passed the marriage and adoption equality bill this summer, it could mean that wedding bells will ring for same sex couples in Luxembourg before the end of the year. The country's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel; and Deputy Prime Minister, Etienne Schneider; are both openly gay.
If you're geeky like me and would like to celebrate by playing "Ons Heemecht" (Our Homeland), the national anthem of Luxembourg, I've included it after the jump. If you'd like to see a few photographs of Luxembourg's capital city -- also conveniently named Luxembourg -- click here and scroll down past the break.