Norway's last civil partnership

13 Jan 2009

"We feel like we've made a little bit of history" says a smiling Anette C.W. Petttersen (29). On 29 December she and Marte B. Barmoen (33) entered into what was probably the last civil partnership in Norway at Oslo Town Hall. Only a few days later they applied for the partnership to be switched to a marriage.

"If Christmas time hadn't been such a suitable time of year as it was, we would of course had waited until it became possible to get married. But Christmas was a great time, especially because we have been a couple for five years on 28 December. That's why we decided to go for a civil partnership", says Pettersen, who hopes that the marriage documents will be dealt with by the time the big freidns and family wedding party takes place on 24 January.

Many Applications
Towards the end of last week the Eastern Tax Department had recieved about 15 applications to switch partnerships into marriages - this was following the coming into effect of the new marriage law on 1 January 2009. Several couples had called to find out how to apply for the change.

"It's still early in the month, so I'm sure we'll get several more requests in the days ahead. We process them with priority, so if all the documents needed are supplied, it shouldn't take take more than a week to process a request." says Kari Nordly, section head for the Civil Register at the Eastern Tax Dept.

The first gay couples have already gotten married in Oslo Town Hall, and the National Association for Lebian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual people (LLH) thinks that many gay couples are looking forward to getting married in 2009.

"We're very satisfied, even if the law didn't come a moment too soon. The difficult political job which Parliament has done is very important" says John Trygve Tollefesen, head of LLH in Oslo and Akershus.

Even if Marte B. Barmoen can't remember much of what was said during the ceremony at Oslo Town Hall, she thinks the experience of entering into civil partnership was a fanastic moment.

"The feeling of joy before and after the ceremony is indescribable. The whole experience was overwhelmingly positive." she says.

Taken from