Committee of Lithuanian Parliament: Legalization of Same-Sex Partnerships is Consistent with the Constitution

On the 6th of May, 2015 the Lithuanian Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs decided that civil partnerships for same-sex couples are consistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, says Deputy Chair Stasys Šedbaras.

“The majority voted that the project does not violate the Constitution,” Mr. Šedbaras told to Lithuanian news agency BNS.

On the 6th of May, 2015 the Parliament’s Legal Department discussed whether the proposal conflicts with the Constitution. Parliamentary lawyers based their arguments on Article 38 of the Constitution, which states that marriage is formed by free mutual consent between a man and a woman.

“The Constitutional Court maintained that the individual provisions of Article 38 of the Constitution must be interpreted together, including the provisions that protect families, which are formed through marriage or cohabitation between a man and a woman, and seek to create stable family relations,” Parliamentary lawyers wrote in the conclusion of their draft law.

The Parliamentary Legal Department’s conclusion was not approved, with three committee members voting in favor of it and four abstaining, reports committee head and Social Democratic MP Julius Sabatauskas.

Since the Committee on Legal Affairs did not find any contradictions with the Constitution, the draft law will be submitted to Parliament.

Committee members discussing the judicial findings were divided into two camps – those who link partnership with marriage, and those who wish to treat partnership as a separate institution.

A bill allowing partnership for both different and same-sex couples was registered by nine members of Parliament from the Social Democratic and Liberal parties on the 25th of March, 2015.

At the moment, Lithuania does not recognize any form of registered partnership. The legal status of cohabitating same-sex couples is not officially recognized and they cannot make use of opportunities available for married couples, ranging from inheritance to receiving information about partner’s health conditions at medical establishments in case of illness.