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'Child brides' suffer, but African Union seeks to end custom

Maxixe - Lucia Felix, a 15-year-old Mozambican girl, dreams of returning to her village school but instead she must prepare for motherhood after she was chosen for an arranged marriage and became pregnant.

Ireland gay marriage law comes into force

Dublin - Ireland's new same-sex marriage law comes into force from Monday, six months after the country voted to allow gay unions in a historic referendum.

Two women risk jail time for same-sex wedding in Costa Rica

San Jos - Same-sex weddings may be legal in a small but growing number of countries, but not in Costa Rica where two women who married, and their lawyer, face criminal charges, and having the union annulled.

Guatemala raises legal age of marriage from 14 to 18

Guatemala City - Guatemalan lawmakers on Thursday passed a law raising the minimum age for marriage after human rights groups cited alarming figures for early pregnancies and other risks for wedded girls.

Japan district issues first gay union certificate

Toukyo - A major Tokyo municipality started Thursday issuing "partnership" certificates to same-sex couples, as Japan takes gradual steps towards greater tolerance for sexual minority groups.

Norwegian bishops back gay marriage

Oslo - Church of Norway bishops said Friday that they were unanimously in favour of allowing gay couples to marry in religious ceremonies, a hot-button issue to be decided on next year.

Gay marriage signed into law in Ireland

Dublin - Same-sex marriage was signed into law in Ireland, five months after a historic referendum saw the traditionally Catholic nation become the world's first country to vote for gay unions.

Dutch stop recognising child marriages abroad

Den Haag - Dutch authorities Wednesday moved to close a loophole under which minors married abroad were allowed to join their spouses in the Netherlands, which has registered record numbers of asylum seekers.

Chile promotes civil union law for gay couples

Santiago - The Chilean government launched a campaign Tuesday to promote a new civil union law that will go into effect Thursday and apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

Pope says Church stance on marriage not up for review at synod

Vatican City - Pope Francis has told bishops taking part in a Church review of family teachings that its stance on the indissolubility of marriage was not up for discussion, despite hopes of an opening towards remarried divorced people.

Ahead of synod on family, pope rules out divorce

Divorce will not be on the agenda at an upcoming synod on the family, Pope Francis said Monday three weeks after he streamlined the process for Catholic couples to obtain annulments.

Kentucky clerk to let deputies issue gay marriage licenses

Chicago - The Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing in the name of her Christian faith to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples said Monday she will not prevent her deputies from doing so.

U.S. clerk jailed for blocking gay marriage released

Chicago - The US county clerk sent to jail in Kentucky for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples praised God and thanked her supporters Tuesday after a judge ordered her release.

Pope makes it easier for Catholics to annul marriages

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Tuesday made it easier, quicker and free for Catholics to have their marriages annulled in the biggest reform of the Church's approach to marital breakdown in nearly three centuries.

U.S. public servant becomes face of anti-gay marriage fight

Washington - By refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis -- taken into federal custody Thursday -- has gone from being a simple US public servant to a heroine for millions of Americans opposed to the new law of the land.

Indonesian district: Couples who date after 9p.m. will be forced to marry

A district government in Indonesia has come up with a rather heavy handed approach to dealing with hookups outside of wedlock. The government has imposed a ban on “dating” after 9 p.m., and anyone who violates the ban will be forced to marry.

Same-sex marriage bill introduced to Australian parliament

Sydney - A bill to legalise same-sex marriage was introduced into the Australian parliament on Monday but it is doomed to fail with Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government opposed to any changes.

Nigerian granted divorce over wife's 'late meals'

Lagos - A Nigerian court granted a 57-year-old man a divorce after hearing that his wife often brought his meals to him too late in the evening, local media reported on Thursday.

Australian PM stymies gay marriage push, for now

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday his government would remain opposed to gay marriage during the current parliament, but suggested the issue could be put to a popular vote after the next election.

Australians rally in support of same-sex marriage

Sydney - Thousands of people rallied in Australian cities over the weekend in support of same-sex marriage, as politicians across multiple parties prepared to submit a bill to make the unions a legal right.

Remarried divorcees 'not excommunicated', pope tells Church

Vatican City - Divorced people who have remarried "are still part of the Church" and should not be treated as if they have been excommunicated or cast out, Pope Francis said on Wednesday."These people are not excommunicated -- they are not excommunicated!

Italy breaches human rights by blocking gay marriage: European court

Strasbourg - A European court ruled Tuesday that Italy breached the human rights of three gay couples by refusing them marriage or any other recognised form of union. "The legal protection currently available to same-sex couples in Italy ...

Thwarted Indian couple in Taj Mahal 'suicide pact'

Agra - An Indian couple forbidden to marry because of their different backgrounds are in hospital after slitting their own throats in an apparent suicide pact at India's famed monument to love, the Taj Mahal.

Acapulco holds mass gay wedding on beach

Acapulco - Twenty gay and lesbian couples got married in a mass wedding on an Acapulco beach on Friday, one month after Mexico's top court all but legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Gay couples in Chile sign up for first civil unions

Santiago - Gay couples flocked to civil registries in Chile on Thursday to pick a time to celebrate the first same-sex civil unions since their historic approval earlier this year.

Italy minister on hunger strike for gay civil unions

Rome - A junior minister in the Italian government has gone on hunger strike in a protest aimed at speeding up moves to introduce civil unions for gay couples.

U.S. Episcopal Church approves same-sex marriages

Washington - The US Episcopal Church announces that it approved ceremonies for same-sex marriages, shortly after the Supreme Court legalized the practice across country.

Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal throughout US

Washington - The US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the nation in a much-awaited landmark decision that triggered wild jubilation and tears of joy across the country.

Gays hail Mexico court's marriage ruling

- Mexico's gay and lesbian community is celebrating a key ruling by the Supreme Court that opens the door to same-sex marriage throughout the country.

Slovenia gay pride warns same-sex marriage still in jeopardy

Ljubljana - Over a thousand people marched Saturday at Slovenia's 15th Gay Pride festival warning their fight was not over since a recently adopted bill legalising same-sex marriages could still be revoked in a referendum.
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