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International News Archive
April 07 - April 13, 2000


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This page contains news for the period Friday, April 07, 2000 through Thursday, April 13, 2000.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Canada's House passes bill extending protections to 'common law partners'

A story published today by Reuters reports that the Canadian House of Commons passed a bill Tuesday to amend 68 federal statutes to erase most legal differences between heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The bill extends benefits and obligations such as spousal income tax credits and spousal federal pension benefits to homosexual couples on the same basis as common-law heterosexual couples.

It also eliminates most of the differences that had remained in federal law between common-law and married heterosexual couples -- the main exception being that married people can still get divorced.

To satisfy concerns outside and inside the governing Liberal Party, Justice Minister Anne McLellan agreed to write into federal law for the first time a definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman "to the exclusion of all others.''

The bill passed by a vote of 174-72, with 17 Liberals taking the rare step of voting against their party's legislation. The bill now proceeds to Parliament's unelected upper chamber, the Senate, which is expected to rubberstamp it.


Saturday, April 8, 2000

Divorce rate increasing in Viet Nam

A story published today in the South China Morning Post reports that a recent survey suggests that as many as one in three Vietnamese marriages now ends in divorce.

The survey - conducted last month by the Van Hoa (Culture) newspaper - also interviewed couples from 900 broken marriages and concluded an emerging assertiveness in women was behind more than one-third of divorces, with disputes between couples and their relatives accounting for 20 per cent more.

Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, deputy president of the Ho Chi Minh Women's Union, questioned the accuracy of the survey but agreed the rate of divorce had soared.

"More than 10 per cent of marriages in Ho Chi Minh City fail and four out of five divorces are requested by women," she said.


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