On the 25th of March, 2015 nine Lithuanian members of parliament representing the Social Democratic and Liberal party groups have registered a bill to allow same-sex civil partnership, reports Lithuanian news agency BNS.
Liberal MP Dalia Kuodytė, one of the authors of the bill, said the draft law was not aimed at undermining the importance of marriage but, instead, at giving free choice of the method to legalize a relationship.
“Hundreds and thousands of unmarried couples live together today – many of them cannot be defined in any other way than a family. Therefore, we have to respect their choice and ensure a fully-fledged life and fundamental rights that would be analogous to those enjoyed by married couples,” the MP said in a press release.
The bill was supported by signatures of the elders of the Social Democratic and the Liberal Movement groups, Irena Šiaulienė and Eligijus Masiulis. If approved, the law would step into force on the 1st of January, 2017.
Under the bill, same-sex partnership would be registered at a notary’s office between two adults who would also have to conclude a contract, stipulating how they would divide the property they purchase together, in case their relationship ends.
The Executive Director of the national LGBT* rights organization LGL Vladimir Simonko welcomed the proposed law to allow same-sex partnerships, saying the step would trigger discussions about the rights of homosexual persons living together.
“It is not very easy for laws to make way, however, the proposal of the law will lead to discussions in the positive sense, and I believe that the issue will no longer be a taboo,” Mr. Simonko told to Lithuanian news agency BNS on the 25th of March, 2015.
He noted that Lithuania is among the few European nations “that has not even opened discussions into the matter.”
In LGL Executive Director’s words, homosexual couples living together, whose status is not legally recognized, are barred from a number of rights enjoyed by spouses – anything from inheriting to receipt of information in hospital in case of an accident.