Quote of the week

The most riveting moment in the interview [with Prince Andrew] came at the very end. The Prince, finally acknowledging Epstein’s deeds, said, “Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.” Maitlis immediately dispensed with the inappropriate euphemism. “Unbecoming? He was a sex offender,” she replied, forcing the Prince to reckon with the brute fact. Being challenged: Prince Andrew must have found that experience unsettling and unfamiliar—even further from his rarefied experience than eating pizza, taking selfies, and recognizing the personal autonomy of members of the serving class, those people passing through whom one doesn’t need to notice.

Rebecca Mead
The New Yorker
20 December 2006

Same-sex relationships around the world

I recieved an email from prof Kees Waaldijk who sums up the situation regarding the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships at national level as follows:

  • Marriage has been opened up to same-sex couples in Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain (since December 2006), South Africa, and in one state of the United States of America.
  • A form of registered partnership for same-sex couples (and sometimes also for different-sex couples) carrying some, most or all legal consequences of marriage, has been introduced in Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland (from January 2007), United Kingdom, Uruguay?, and in parts of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and the United States of America.
  • Informal cohabitation of same-sex partners has become legally recognised (at least for some legal purposes) in most of the jurisdictions mentioned above, and also in several other, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, and parts of Australia, Italy and the United States of America.
  • For various practical purposes a foreign same-sex marriage would be recognised in Israel, and (probably) also in many of the countries that have introduced some form of registered partnership, but that have not opened up marriage. However (unlike Israel, after the judgement of its Supreme Court on 21 November 2006) most of these countries would not formally register a foreign same-sex marriage as ‘marriage’.
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