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LOWER HOUSE APPROVES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL

The lower house of the Spanish Parliament approved the Socialist government's same-sex marriage bill Thursday, a major step toward making traditionally Catholic Spain the third European country to legalize homosexual marriages.

The bill, which also would pave the way for same-sex couples to adopt children, will now go to the Senate -- where the Socialists have ample support -- for final approval in the coming weeks. Belgium and the Netherlands are the other European countries that have legalized gay marriages.

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