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Over 100 gay weddings in Belgium since June

November 7, 2003

Gay couple Marrying in Amsterdam (AFP) BRUSSELS — At least 139 gay couples have tied the knot in Belgium since the start of June when the country passed legislation allowing same-sex marriages, a homosexual group said Thursday.

The figure for Belgium, which became only the second European country to allow gay marriage after the Netherlands, was based on registered weddings up to September in six Belgian cities, said Flemish gay and lesbian group Holebi.

The country's second city and Flanders capital Antwerp tops the gay wedding league with 64 celebrations, ahead of Ghent on 32, Brugges and Liege on 15, Brussels on 11 and Charleroi on two. About two-thirds of the couples were men.

Over the period, the gay unions represented some 4.7 percent of the weddings carried out in the six cities, it said.

Gay couples now enjoy most of the same rights as heterosexual married partners, apart from those related to adoption -- meaning that in a lesbian couple the biological mother would remain legally a single parent. –Sapa-AFP

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