[JURIST] The Chambre des Deputes [official website, in French], Luxembourg's national legislative body, approved a bill [press release, in French] on Wednesday extending marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples. The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority of 54 in favor, four against. Openly gay prime minister Xavier Bettel [BBC profile] announced after his election last year that he would bring the bill before the legislature by the end of this year. Roy Reding, Secretary General of the Alternative Democratic Reform Party [official website, in German], one of only two parties that opposed the bill, claimed that "The most important institution of our society, marriage, is ruined." This vote makes Luxembourg the seventeenth nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and adoption remains divisive and controversial issues around the world. The Slovakia National Council [official website, in Slovak] amended the country's constitution [JURIST report] earlier in June to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The Maltese Parliament [official website] passed legislation [JURIST report] in April allowing same-sex civil unions with the same benefits and protections as heterosexual marriage. In February Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev [official website] announced a decree [JURIST report] banning same-sex couples or single individuals from countries that permit same-sex marriage from adopting children. The Uruguay Senate [official website, in Spanish] approved [JURIST report] a same-sex marriage bill in April 2013. President Jose Mujica [official website, in Spanish] has stated he intends to sign the bill into law.