Same-sex relationships outside the United States are supported in some countries and ignored in oth­ers. For example, in Australia, equal rights legisla­tion gives gay and lesbian couples equal rights as heterosexual couples (Coates, 2004). Larger cities, such as Sydney, contain the largest population of gay couples. Gay and lesbian relationships are ac­ceptable in France, where a law in 1985 made it il­legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians (Meignant, 2004). Other countries, such as Ireland, are not as supportive of same-sex relationships.

Подпись:Подпись:Same-sex marriage and the adoption of chil­dren by same-sex couples were both legalized in the Netherlands in 2001. At least one partner must have Dutch nationality or live in the Netherlands in order to marry. As of September of 2005, there had been 2,100 men and 1,700 women married in same-sex ceremonies in the Netherlands. In Belgium, same-sex marriage was legalized in 2003, although adoption by same-sex couples is not allowed. Originally Belgium allowed for­eign same-sex couples to marry only if their country of origin allowed same-sex marriage. However, in 2004 new rulings allowed any couple to marry if one of the partners had lived in Belgium for at least 3 months. As of 2005, a total of 2,442 same-sex couples mar-

ried there. Canada legalized same-sex marriage countrywide in 2005. Prior to that, it had been legalized only in certain provinces and territories. Spain also legalized same-sex marriage in 2005 and allowed for same-sex couples to adopt. Finally South Africa be­came the fifth country to legalize same-sex marriage in late 2005.