Malta to legalise cannabis for personal use in European first

malta-to-legalise-cannabis-for-personal-use-in-european-first

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it introduced civil unions for same sex partners early

I was curious, so looked up the timeline. It looks like that was introduced to the Bundestag (German parliament) in November 2000, enacted into law in Feb 2001, and took effect Aug 2001.

By contrast, only one US state was a hair earlier -- Vermont was the first state to introduce civil unions to the US. That fell on the basis of a 1999 VT Supreme Court case, and was implemented by the VT Legislature in July 2000. (Hawaii had an earlier court case that for a while ruled that gay marriage had to be made legal there, but that was reversed politically after a short time. Also, the partner recognitions made in the interim did not come with full civil union rights, so I'm not counting that.)

Massachusetts was the second state to allow civil unions, coming after Germany; that took place on the back of a 2003 MA Supreme Court case, and took effect May 2004.

On the side of full marriage, Germany recognized it in 2017, two years after Obergefell. At the time of Obergefell, 36 states recognized it -- though presumably in many cases, that was on the back of court rulings that would have been invalidated had Obergefell gone the other way. I don't know how many though.

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