The Consideration of the Constitutional Amendment on the Definition of “Family Life” Postponed at the Lithuanian Parliament

On March 20th, 2016 a meeting to consider the Constitutional amendment, which seeks to define “family life” as emanating exclusively from a marriage between a man and a woman, has been scheduled at the Legal Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament. However, the Committee failed to meet the quorum and the consideration of the draft amendment was postponed until further notice.

The proposal to change article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania was first registered at Seimas in late 2013. This amendment redefines the constitutionally protected concept of “family life” as emanating from “traditional” marriage between a man and a woman and stipulates that family arises from motherhood and fatherhood.

“The colleagues insisted that they need to attend other meetings. I would not like to be over-suspicious to say that it was done on purpose. Moreover, the Chairman of the Committee was not present at the meeting,” commented a member of the Legal Affairs Committee Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė.

Ms. Aleknaitė-Abramikienė maintained that “it is possible that the quorum was not met deliberately”. “Such presumption is possible, because the hearing was delayed many times. Nevertheless, we intend to appeal to the Chairman of the Committee with a request to include the consideration of this Constitutional amendment to the agenda of the next meeting and perhaps then the MPs will participate,” argued one of the leaders of the Lithuanian conservative party “Homeland Union”.

The National LGBT rights organization LGL expresses deep concern regarding the initiatives which seek to limit the fundamental human rights of LGBT* people in Lithuania. The association LGL hopes that the members of the Parliament will prevent similar discriminative initiatives and will ensure all rights and freedoms for everyone in Lithuania despite sexual orientation and/or gender identity.