The Canadian province of Quebec, once staunchly conservative and strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, gave legal status to civil unions of same-sex couples, as well as permission for gay couples to adopt children, Atty. Gen. Paul Begin said.
Quebec is the second province to legalize civil unions of same-sex couples. Nova Scotia was the first. Quebec, however, said the unions won't be called marriages.
A bill passed by lawmakers gives same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married heterosexual couples, including adoption and artificial insemination.