Most Belgian gay marriages held in Flanders
7 October 2005, BRUSSELS – Around three-quarters of gay marriages in Belgium take place in Flanders, it emerged on Friday.
7 October 2005
BRUSSELS – Around three-quarters of gay marriages in Belgium take place in Flanders, it emerged on Friday.
The figures, released by the National Statistics Institute (INS), could come as a surprise to many since the region is often perceived as intolerant since the success of the extreme-right, homophobic party, the Vlaams Belang.
Last year, a total of 2,102 gay weddings were held in Belgium, with 1,519 of them taking place in Flanders – some 72 percent.
In comparison, only 327 gay couples married in Wallonia and 256 married in the Brussels region.
Antwerp province witnessed the largest proportion of gay weddings – 518 of them, followed by eastern Flanders which saw 384 ceremonies. In Wallonia, Liege province also saw a high number of same-sex weddings, 120, compared to 28 in Namur.
The news agency Belga reported that INS has released statistics on gay and lesbian weddings for the first time since homosexual marriage was legalised in January 2003.
The figures also showed a rise in the number of lesbians getting married. While 690 couples married in 2003, 940 lesbian couples tied the knot last year.
More same-sex couples last year chose to celebrate their big day abroad – just 20 did so in 2003, compared to 105 in 2004.
Belgium was the second country in the world to legalise gay marriage, after Holland. Since then, Spain has also followed suit.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news