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Same-sex marriage in the Seafaring Confederation has been legal in the Seafaring Confederation since September 13, 2001, being the world's second country to legalize same-sex marriage. Legalization was instigated through a joint effort from the House of Representatives of the Seafaring Confederation, the High Council of the Seafaring Confederation, the Leaders of the Seafaring Confederation and the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation through both legislation and judicial court cases with immediate effect and implications.

History

History of legalization

Same-sex marriage was first legalized by the city of An Bhá nan Éirith Ghréine in 1996, which later that year was implemented in the entirety of the Rockallic Federal District. This example was followed by the rest of Rockall as well as Rom in early 1997 and by Dogger and the Saxonian State of Dutch Lower Saxony later that year.

Legalization happened as the result of the ruling of the Supreme Court of Dogger in the case Eyjprövinserne av Dåggereyj mr. Handren-Svíst et al., 54 1111 2122 (1999) in 1999, where a majority ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. Opponents' attempts to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation were denied due to the fact that the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation cannot rule on cases from national circuits.

In late 1999, the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony and the Duchy of Schleswig in Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland legalized same-sex marriage.

In 2000, same-sex marriage was implemented in the entire nation, as the Supreme Court of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland ruled in a plurality ruling that same-sex marriage should be legal in the case of Hertochdum Jutland gg. Hermans 19.20193 67 (2000) 15. Again opponents of same-sex marriage tried to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, and again the appeal was denied based on the fact that the ruling came from a national rather than a confederate court.

At the end of 2000, the House of Representatives of the Seafaring Confederation and the High Council of the Seafaring Confederation started debating same-sex marriage, and when a majority in both the House and the Council turned out to be in favour, cooperation was requested from the Leaders, who else expressed to be in favour. This then resulted in the drafting of a same-sex marriage bill, which was to be ping-ponged between the House and the Council until both were satisfied with the outcome. The final draft was voted on by the House on July 14, 2001, by the Council on July 20, 2001, and by the Leaders on August 22, 2001. The House passed the legislation with a 538-182 majority, the Council passed the legislation with a 39-40 majority in the Council, and was passed unanimously by the Leaders.

History of litigation

Dogger

Same-sex marriage was also taken up in the courts. Eyjprövinserne av Dåggereyj mr. Handren-Svíst et al., 54 1111 2122 (1999) was a Supreme Court of Dogger case which was ruled on in 1999, but was initiated as Eyjittsmiddiprövinsen mr. Handren-Svíst in 1998, when Hans Handren-Svíst sued the city of Eyjittsmiddi for its statute preventing same-sex marriages from taking place. The District Court of Eyjittsmiddi ruled in a 5-2 majority that the statute was unconstitutional under Article 1 of the Constitution of Dogger.

This ruling was appealed to the Court of Appeals of the First Circuit of Dogger, which ruled that the District Court had been wrong and reversed the judgment in an 11-10 majority decision.

This ruling was then appealed to the Supreme Court of Dogger, which ruled in 1999 that the statute was indeed unconstitutional, and ordered for same-sex marriages to take place immediately.

Although opponents of same-sex marriage in Dogger tried to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, this was denied by the Confederate Supreme Judges because the decision by the Supreme Court of Dogger had been given in the National Judicial Circuit of Dogger rather than in the Confederate Judicial Circuit of the Seafaring Confederation.

Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland

Hertochdum Jutland gg. Hermans 19.20193 67 (2000) 15 was a case decided by the Supreme Court of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland in 2000, originating from the case Hertugdøm Slesvig n. Hermans which was initiated by Johan R. Hermans in the District Court of the Danish Minority in the Duchy of Jutland, arguing that the ban against same-sex marriage in place in Jutland at that time was unconstitutional. The District Court of the Danish Minority ruled unanimously that the statute violated not only the Third Article of the Constitution of the Duchy of Jutland but also the Second Article of the Constitution of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland.

This ruling was appealed to the Court of Appeals of the Danish Minority in the Duchy of Jutland, which consisted of a 5-judge panel. This panel issued a ruling upholding the judgment of the District Court with a 3-2 majority.

This ruling was then appealed to the Court of Appeals of the Duchy of Jutland, which heard it en banc and upheld the lower courts' decisions that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples was unconstitutional under the Second Article of the Constitution of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland.

Opponents of same-sex marriage appealed to the Supreme Court of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland, which decided on the case en banc. In 2000, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was indeed unconstitutional under both the Second and the Tenth Articles of the Constitution of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland and ordered marriages to take place immediately.

Akin to Dogger, opponents of same-sex marriages tried to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, an appeal which was also denied based on the fact that the ruling came from the National Judicial Circuit of Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland rather than the Confederate Circuit.

Saxony

As same-sex marriage was legalized in the State of German Lower Saxony in 1999, a group of same-sex marriage opponents filed a lawsuit in the Confederate District Court of Landkreis Heidekreis, which initially became known as Christen für Traditionelle Ehe gg. Staat Neddersassen (Eidgenössisch). Opponents of same-sex marriage argued that traditional marriage was in the interest of the state because it promoted procreation, as well as that because the Bible described it as only between a man and a woman, that same-sex marriage was illegitimate.

The District Court judge ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional, ruling that:

[M]arriage has now for several decades been a civil institution [and not] a religious [one]. Therefore, the argument by the plaintiffs that same-sex marriage is illegitimate based on the Bible's [interpretation] of the institution only counts for [their] specific religion [and not] for the civil institution that is regulated by the State.

The opponents of same-sex marriage then appealed the decision to the Confederate Appellate Court of the Second Circuit of the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony, which issued a 3-judge panel to make a decision in the case. This 3-judge panel unanimously ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional in a single-sentence ruling that read:

We the Confederate Appellate Court of the Second Circuit of the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony in our power and ability provided to us by the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation rule unanimously that same-sex marriage is constitutional and affirm the Confederate District Court of Landkreis Heidekreis' judgment of the matter's constitutionality.

Opponents of same-sex marriage then appealed the decision to the Confederate Appellate Court of the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony, which issued a 9-judge panel to make a decision in the case. The 9 judges ruled in a 7-2 majority that same-sex marriage was constitutional.

Opponents of same-sex marriage then appealed to the Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Federation of the United States of Saxony in the Seafaring Confederation. At this point the lawsuit changed its name to Sassen gg. Christen für Traditionelle Ehe 23110 999 (2000) (20 Dezember), as the judgment issued by this court would affect the entirety of the nation of Saxony. The Court ruled unanimously on 20 December, 2000, that same-sex marriage was constitutional, issuing only a one-sentence ruling that read:

We the Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Federation of the United States of Saxony in the Seafaring Confederation in our power and ability provided to us by the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation rule unanimously that same-sex marriage is constitutional and affirm the Confederate District Court of Landkreis Heidekreis', the Confederate Appellate Court of the Second Circuit of the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony's and the Confederate Appellate Court of the State of German Lower Saxony in Saxony's judgments of the matter's constitutionality.

This ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the entire nation of Saxony, however, due to the fact that the opponents of same-sex marriage appealed, the ruling was stayed.

The opponents of same-sex marriage appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation. This court realized that the decision was to be largely symbolic, as the House of Representatives, the High Council and the Leaders had already started the legalization process of same-sex marriage. The 23 judges of the Supreme Court thus decided to cooperate with the other branches of government, and, on September 13, 2001, ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutional with a 20-3 majority. This ruling was issued on the same day and at the same moment that same-sex marriage was legalized through Confederate legislative efforts.

The lawsuit was then documented as Seafaring Confederation vs. Christen für Traditionelle Ehe 23110 999 (2001) (13 September) 78662 1299.

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