State Leaders Expressed their Views on Same-Sex Partnerships in Lithuania

Since the discussions at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the possibility of legislating same-sex partnerships in Lithuania has been renewed, the Lithuanian state leaders were asked whether they would support such move.

The comments by the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania were submitted in writing by their spokespersons.

“The issue of cohabitation is very important to a wide range of people. Therefore, the legal regulation of human relationships is a mature decision. After long discussions the legislative initiatives were registered at the Lithuanian Parliament. It is a first step in establishing the legal basis for regulation of property and other issues for all people living together,“ commented Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania.

In February, 2013 the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė insisted that discussions on civil partnerships for same-sex couples were “premature”. In March, 2015 the Lithuanian president said that Lithuanian society needs a “wider discussion” on the legalization of same-sex partnerships. However, in May, 2015 the Lithuanian president insistently, and rather gracelessly, refused to answer questions about LGBT* rights in Lithuania during an interview to a Latvian journalist. In June, 2015 following an outcry on homophobic rant by Lithuanian DJ and producer Marijus Adomaitis, known internationally as Ten Walls, the Lithuanian president claimed that the situation will “benefit Lithuania”, as it will “trigger an even more open discussion on homophobia and intolerance”.

“We should recognize that current situation requires efforts and decisions that would allow citizens to deal with the legal issues in various situations. In my view, the legal base must expand its opportunities and ensure conditions for communion of persons for both present and future generations,“ said Viktoras Pranckietis, the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament.

“All people who live together in a joint household in Lithuania should have access to the protection of property and other rights. These rights are ought to be regulated by law and this matter must finally be resolved,” insisted Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 23rd May, 2017 the Liberal Movement Party registered a draft proposal to amend the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, aiming to legislate gender-neutral partnerships.

On 24th May, 2017 the opposing Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Political Group of the Lithuanian Parliament also registered another draft amendment to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania proposing to regulate partnerships by way of cohabitation agreement.

The Lithuanian Parliament has also begun to consider a proposal by a group of MPs to remove the concept of partnership institute from the Civil Code altogether.

Currently the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, which came into force in 2001, provides a form of cohabitation without marriage as a precondition of registering a partnership, but in reality the provision is not implementable, because the law on registered partnerships is yet to be adopted.