For the first time ever, The Netherlands passed legislation this week fully legalizing same sex marriages including rights to divorce and adoption of children. Prior to the new legislation, lesbian and gay couples could only register as “same-sex partnerships” in Norway and Sweden, although in 1989 Denmark passed legislation permitting lesbians and gays to marry. The Netherlands are now the first nation in the world to enact such a comprehensive law and thus leads the world in the most progressive lesbian and gay policies. Legislatures passed the bill that allows same-sex couples to marry at city hall, adopt Dutch children, and divorce through the court system with an overwhelming vote of 107-33 on September 11. The new law that extends the same rights that governs heterosexual marriages to gay and lesbians will take effect in early 2001.