Norway's centre-left government proposed a law Friday that would place gays on the same footing as heterosexuals when it comes to marriage and adoption and would give lesbians equal access to artificial insemination.
According to the Norwegian news agency NTB, the draft bill will probably receive the support of parliament, where the government holds 97 of 169 seats, when it comes to permitting gay marriage and adoption.
It was however less clear if parliament would back in vitro fertilisation for lesbians, NTB said.
"The lives of homosexual and of heterosexual couples are worth the same," Children and Equality minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement, comparing the new law proposal with the introduction of general voting rights in Norway in 1913.
"The new law is not a weakening of the institution of marriage; rather it represents a strengthening. The value of marriage does not decrease because more people gain access to it," she insisted.
The law proposal was voted through at a cabinet meeting, but two centrist members of government expressed their opposition to making artificial insemination accessible to women living in lesbian relationships.
The draft bill also gives Norway's state Evangelical Lutheran Church "the right, but not the obligation" to bless homosexual unions.