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  • Writer's pictureKlara Mike

Same-Sex Marriages in Europe: The Easiest Paths to Equality


I'm planning to write this blogpost for quite some time now in the hope that I can assist same-sex couples to find the perfect location for their happily-ever-after. It's important to mention upfront that while I tried to gather all the latest information the specific requirements due to the limited resources available online, it's crucial to check with the local Civil Registry or Town Hall where you plan to marry for the most accurate and up-to-date information. However this blog post should give you a good overall view on the most LGBTQ+ friendly European countries. At the end of this article I will also highlight some of my favourite countries if you wish to get married legally during your destination wedding. So keep reading or just scroll right down to find my top 2 recommendations. As the landscape of same-sex marriages in Europe evolves, certain countries stand out as pioneers in making the path to equality smoother for LGBTQ+ couples. These nations not only champion progressive legislation but also foster inclusive environments that reflect a commitment to diversity.





Netherlands

The Netherlands holds the distinction of being the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Its long-standing tradition of tolerance and a robust legal framework make it a trailblazer for LGBTQ+ rights.


Belgium

Following closely in the footsteps of the Netherlands, Belgium legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. The country's inclusive approach extends beyond legislation, creating an environment where diversity is celebrated.


Spain

Spain embraced marriage equality in 2005, marking a turning point in LGBTQ+ rights. The vibrant culture and acceptance in urban centers contribute to an atmosphere where same-sex couples can marry without significant barriers.


Sweden

Sweden has been a beacon of progressiveness, allowing same-sex couples to marry since 2009. The country's commitment to equality is reflected not only in its legal framework but also in societal attitudes toward LGBTQ+ individuals.


Norway

Norway has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009. The country's inclusive policies and efforts to combat discrimination contribute to a welcoming environment for same-sex couples. My top 2 recommended countries for same sex couples to get married in Europe: 1. Denmark

In my eyes Denmark is the absolute winning package for LGBTQ+ couples to get married in. Here is why: Denmark has been known for its inclusive approach and has facilitated marriages for same-sex couples. You can get married in Denmark without having residency. However, laws and requirements may change, so it's important to check with official sources or legal experts for the most current information. Here are general legal requirements that were applicable:


a. Legal Age

Both individuals must be at least 18 years old to legally marry in Denmark.


b. Documentation:

Standard documentation such as valid passports, birth certificates, and a certificate of marital status may be required. Documents might need to be translated into Danish and possibly legalized.


c. Residency Requirements:

Denmark has been popular for its relatively straightforward marriage process without strict residency requirements. Couples could typically arrive a few days before the wedding.


d. Marriage Intentions:

Couples often need to declare their intention to marry at the local municipality (the town hall or 'r?dhus') where they plan to get married.


e. Civil Ceremony:

In Denmark, civil ceremonies are the most common for legal marriages. These ceremonies are typically conducted at the local municipality.


f. Witnesses:

Couples may need to have witnesses present at the ceremony. These witnesses should be of legal age and may need to provide identification.


g. Same-Sex Marriage Recognition:

Denmark recognizes same-sex marriages, and the legal requirements for same-sex couples are the same as for opposite-sex couples.


To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, it's recommended to contact the relevant local municipality in Denmark where you plan to get married or consult with legal professionals who specialize in marriage laws in Denmark. Additionally, the website of the Danish Agency of Family Law (Familieretshuset) may provide official and current guidance on the marriage process.





2. Spain

I recommend Spain for the sun lover LGBTQ+ couples. There are so many stunning venues and backdrops are in Spain that truly any couple will be able to find one to their taste. It got second place in my ranking because you can only get married legally if you or your partner are reside in Spain for more than 2 years. My personal favourites are Mallorca and the Costa Brava regions. It's important to understand in advance that the legal requirements to get married in Spain will depend on the municipality of the place you choose to get married in. Therefore you will need to find out whether there is any further regulation apart from the ones I list here: Legal requirements for same-sex couples to get married in Mallorca, or any part of Spain, include the following:


a. Legal age

Both individuals must be at least 18 years old to legally marry in Spain.


b. Documentation:

Standard documentation such as valid passports, birth certificates, and a certificate of marital status may be required. These documents may need to be translated into Spanish and legalized.


c. Residency Requirements:

Some regions in Spain may have residency requirements, specifying a minimum period of residence before marriage. Check the specific requirements for Mallorca.


d. Consular Certificate:

A consular certificate from the foreigner's consulate in Spain may be required, stating that there are no impediments to the marriage.


e. Marriage Intentions:

Couples often need to declare their intention to marry at the Civil Registry in the municipality where they plan to marry.


f. Civil Ceremony:

In Spain, civil ceremonies are the most common for legal marriages. Religious ceremonies may be performed separately, but the civil ceremony is the one recognized by Spanish law.


g. Witnesses:

Couples may need to have witnesses present at the ceremony. These witnesses should be of legal age and may need to provide identification.


h. Same-Sex Marriage Recognition:

Spain recognizes same-sex marriages, and the legal requirements for same-sex couples are generally the same as for heterosexual couples.


It's essential to contact the Civil Registry or Town Hall directly to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information.





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