December 18, 2007 / 12:41 PM / 10 years ago

Hungary legalizes same-sex civil partnerships

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary’s parliament passed a law late on Monday that allows same-sex couples to register a civil partnership with many of the rights and obligations of marriage.

Lesbians Eva and Kinga (L) unofficially get married by the river Danube in Budapest July 14, 2007. Hungary's parliament passed a law late on Monday that allows same-sex couples to register a civil partnership with many of the rights and obligations of marriage. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Registered couples will have the same rights as married heterosexual couples in inheritance, taxation and other financial matters.

But they will not be allowed to adopt children, unlike married couples.

After decades under communist rule when homosexuality was banned or simply out of sight, it is far less widely accepted in Eastern Europe than in most of Western Europe.

The Czech Republic and Slovenia allow same-sex partnerships to be registered, but none of the former communist states allow gay marriages.

Although the law is primarily aimed at same-sex couples, the registered partnership is also open to heterosexual couples.

The law passed with 185 votes in favor, 154 against and 9 abstentions. It will take effect as of January 2009.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Michael Kahn

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