All families are equally important!
Please sign the appeal to the members of the Parliament at www.laisva.lt
To the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania
REGARDING THE AMENDMENT TO THE ARTICLE 38 OF THE CONSTITUTION AND NARROWING THE CONCEPT OF FAMILY
We, individuals and organizations signing this petition, want to express our concern regarding the plans to consider the amendment to the Article 38 of the Constitution at the Lithuanian Parliament and other unduly initiatives aiming to narrow the concept of family. In doing so, the legislators are aiming to dissociate various Lithuanian families from the protection of family life, stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and intervene with the sphere of private family life.
We do not endorse the amendment to the Article 38 of the Constitution, proposing that “family is created by marriage. […] Family also comes from maternity and paternity.” We believe that such proposal violates the concepts enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuania’s international obligations, discriminate various Lithuanian families and unacceptably interferences with the private life of Lithuanian citizens.
We welcome and support the ruling of September 28th, 2011 by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, noting that:
“Marriage is one of the constitutional grounds in developing family relations. However, it does not mean that the Constitution […] does not protect and defend other than marriage-based families. […] The concept of family is based on the mutual responsibility, understanding, emotional affection, assistance and similar relations of family members, as well as the voluntary determination to take on certain rights and obligations, i.e. the content of relationships. Therefore, expressions and forms of these relationships are of no significance to the constitutional concept of family.”
We do not endorse the intentions to establish provisions, allowing to degrade relationships based upon these values, i.e. consider these relationships unworthy of constitutional protection and protection by the State.
We believe that the most important values of every family are love, respect, loyalty, concern, understanding, and these values can be fostered by not only marriage-based families.
There are many diverse families living in Lithuania. They are unmarried couples, same-sex and opposite-sex partners living together, raising their or one of the partner‘s children. There are also couples living together without children, single mothers and parents with children, adoptive parents, guardians and their children, grandparents raising their grandchildren and sometimes older brothers and sisters who have lost parents and mentor their younger family members.
The proposed amendment to the Article 38 of the Constitution would deprive all these families from the constitutional protection, although the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights requires the State to protect, foster and take care of all Lithuanian families equally and to not restrict people’s right to respect for private and family life by adjusting the form in which they should create family relationships.
Under these circumstances,
We, the signatories of this petition, encourage the members of Parliament to:
(1) reject the proposed amendment to the Article 38 of the Constitution;
(2) ensure the right to live free from discrimination and to be respected and defended by the State for all Lithuanian families without exception.