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Same-sex marriage in Belgium


On 1 June 2003, Belgium became the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands. Same-sex adoption was completely legalized in 2006 and is equalized with that of opposite-sex adoption. Lesbian couples can get access to IVF as well. Discrimination protections based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public and private accommodations have also been enacted since 2003 and on gender identity/expression since 2014. Transsexuals have been allowed to change their legal gender under certain circumstances since 2007.



In Belgium a marriage between two people can take place as long as they have both reached eighteen years of age. The process of getting married, along with the rights accorded to married couples, are the same for heterosexual and homosexual couples.


Minors over the age of sixteen may get married only with the consent of their parents and permission from the courts. Or they may appear before a court themselves to ask for permission to marry without their parents' consent.


At least one of the couple must have been resident in Belgium for a minimum of three months. This can be demonstrated by an air ticket, a rent receipt or similar.


Since 2003, all rights accorded to a heterosexual marriage are the same in gay marriage (tax, property, inheritance law and the procedure for divorce). The only exception is that when a child is born by a homosexual woman, her partner is not considered to be the second parent. A same-sex couple may adopt children and any children born to a same-sex couple can be affiliated to the non-biological parent by means of adoption.

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