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Luxembourg Considers Legalizing Gay Marriage and Adoption

Following the formation of a new coalition government under the long-serving Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of the center-right Christian Social Party on Monday, July 20, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the tiny tri-lingual country nestled between France, Belgium, and Germany, will consider in the upcoming legislative session legalizing same-sex marriage and permitting gays and lesbians to adopt. Although the country has the highest gross domestic product per capita in the world, it has been particularly hard hit by the global economic crisis. The questions of gay marriage and gay adoption will be the only social reforms considered by the current Parliament, which will focus the rest of its attention on the economy. Luxembourg currently allows civil unions, which grant essentially the same rights and benefits as marriage. Legalizing same-sex marriage would be a largely symbolic gesture in the heavily Catholic country.

François Diderrich, president of Rosa Lëtzebuerg ASBL, the nation's largest gay rights organization, has hailed the announcement by Juncker's government. "We thought, it could be but didn’t believe it would be on the agenda," he said. He added, "Access to marriage is primarily symbolic. It is important to know that we can get married if we want." Diderrich also notes that the adoption would have to be taken up separately from the marriage issue since permitting gay couples to adopt would require a change to existing adoption law. As for the symnbolic nature of both parliamentary considerations, you need to be aware that symbolism is a big deal. If you don't think so, then chuck your wedding ring and see what your spouse has to say.

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