Intro: New Caledonia comprises a main island of Grande Terre and the Loyalty Islands, and several smaller islands. It has a land area of 18,575.5 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population was estimated in January 2009 to be 249,000. The capital and largest city of the territory is Noumea . The territory is set
New Caledonia is a ‘stand alone collectivity’ of islands governed by France. It is located in the region of Melanesia in the southwest Pacific. It comprises a main island (Grande Terre), the Loyalty Islands, and several smaller islands. The entire landmass is approximately half the size of Taiwan.
Since 1986 the United Nations Committee on Decolonization has included New Caledonia on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. New Caledonia is set to decide whether to remain within the French Republic or become an independent state in a referendum has included New Caledonia on the to be held between 2014 and 2019.
Since the territory is governed by France, the same gay rights apply to homosexuals in New Caledonia as in France. Homosexuality is legal; civil unions are recognized but gay marriage is not; gays can serve in the military.
New Caledonia’s LGBT association, Homo-sphere, provides a wealth of information for locals and visitors alike "to make their stay as enjoyable and gay as possible." This association has unwavering government support since its creation in 1998. Association Homo-Sphere has one full-time staff member who keeps busy planning six parties and gatherings each year, attracting up to 400 people.
In April 2009, the French National Assembly voted to approve the extension of PACS to two French overseas collectivities: New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. Thus, same-sex and opposite-sex couples in New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna are now able to enter a PACS in the same way as couples in Metropolitan France. Given their autonomous status, these collectivities did not automatically begin performing PACS when they were introduced in Metropolitan France in 1999. Indeed, in other collectivites, such as French Polynesia and Mayotte, PACS cannot yet be performed.
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