Luxembourg has become the latest country to vote in favour of equalising same-sex marriage and adoption rights, in a landslide poll of its MPs on Wednesday.
The land-locked European country's Chamber of Deputies voted by an overwhelming majority of 56-4 for the law which will be put into force by early next year.
Green MP Viviane Loschetter told the website: “Gay people should have the same rights as heterosexuals.
“With this law, we do not throw overboard all the values of our society.
“All we have done is give equal rights to gay people. We formally recognize a form of relationship that has always existed.”
Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT rights programme, praised the decision.
“This is a happy day for Luxembourg and for those who favor equal rights for all, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The law will enable gays and lesbians in Luxembourg to marry the person they love and will strengthen the fundamental rights of everyone in Luxembourg to equality and non-discrimination,” he said.
The four representatives who voted against the measure were Gaston Gibéryen, Fernand Kartheiser and Roy Reding, of the right-wing Alternative Democratic Reform Party, and Aly Kaes, who was reportedly rebelling against the Christian Social People’s Party, according to Pink News.
“The most important institution of our society, marriage, is ruined,” Reding said.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel announced he would introduce the legislation in 2013, following the parliamentary elections.
Luxembourg now joins the sixteen other countries that have already passed a law allowed homosexual marriage, including: the Netherlands, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and 19 US states.