Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg
|Legal recognition of
Partnerships are available for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Luxembourg since 2004. In June 2014, the Parliament approved a bill allowing for same-sex marriage, which had been pending for several years.
Partnerships were legalised in Luxembourg through an Act of 9 July 2004, which took effect on 1 November 2004. The act was adopted by the Juncker–Polfer cabinet on 26 April 2002 and approved in Parliament on 11 May 2004 with 33 votes in favour, 7 against and 20 abstentions. The Council of State recommended in its opinion considering the legalisation of same-sex marriage, which neighbouring Belgium had then recently done so.
The partnerships are based on the French civil solidarity pact (PACS) and are available for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. These partnerships provide many of the rights of marriage in relation to access to welfare benefits and fiscal advantages but not the same as marriage. They do not give the right to jointly adopt children.
The ruling Christian Social People's Party until 2009 was opposed to same-sex marriage, even though the Prime Minister, originating from the same party, has expressed his personal support. In July 2007, the motion calling for legalisation of same-sex marriage was rejected by parliament, on a 38-22 vote.
In July 2009, the Government of Luxembourg, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, announced its intention to legalise same-sex marriage. During a debate on 19 January 2010, the Minister of Justice, François Biltgen announced that a law to legalise same-sex marriage (with exception of certain adoption rights) would be finalized before the summer vacation break of the parliament. On 9 July 2010, the government accepted the bill; on 10 August 2010, it was submitted to the parliament.
In May 2012, the bill was re-drafted and the vote was not expected at least until 2013. On 27 November 2012, the Council of State delivered a negative response to the bill, but asked the Parliament to open a debate on the topic if it moved to vote on the bill. Some members of the Council submitted separate opinion supporting the bill.
On 6 February 2013, the Chamber's Legal Affairs Committee agreed to approve the measure opening marriage for same-sex couples. On 20 February, the committee initially backed the right to simple adoption for same-sex couples, but restricting plenary adoption to opposite-sex couples. On 6 March 2013, the committee confirmed that position. However, on 4 June, the Council of State issued a second review, rejecting the compromise to allow simple adoption for all couples while restricting plenary adoption to opposite-couples only. On 19 June 2013, the Legal Affairs Committee decided to back full adoption rights for same-sex couples. The bill was expected to be voted on by the parliament in the autumn, however a further delay was caused by the elections in October 2013 following the resignation of the Luxembourgish government.
The coalition agreement of the new government, sworn in on 4 December 2013 and led by openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, includes marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples, scheduled for the first trimester of 2014.[a] On 8 January 2014, the Minister of Justice Felix Braz stated that the parliament would vote on the bill in the summer of 2014, and if approved, it would take effect before the end of 2014.
On 19 March 2014, the Chamber's Legal Affairs Committee completed its work on the marriage reform law, and sent it to the Council of State, which released its opinion on 20 May 2014. On 28 May 2014, the Legal Affairs Committee approved the bill. All political parties except ADR were in favour. On 18 June 2014, the bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies, in a 56-4 vote. On 24 June 2014, the Council of State gave its consent to skip the second vote, a formality. It now awaits promulgation by Grand Duke Henri and will take effect the first day of the sixth month after publication in the official gazette (i.e. it takes effect 1 January 2015 if published in July 2014).
- Page 12: La réforme sur le droit au mariage pour tous les couples, indépendamment de leur genre ou identité sexuelle sera adoptée au courant du premier trimestre 2014. translates to Reform on the right to marriage for all couples, regardless of their gender or sexual identity will be adopted in the first quarter of 2014.
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- (French) La loi sur le mariage gay votée d'ici cet été
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- Luxembourg passes same-sex marriage and adoption bill in landslide vote
- Luxembourg legislature votes to legalize same-sex marriage, adoption
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- (French) Feu vert pour le mariage gay au Luxembourg
- Luxembourg Approves Same Sex Marriage
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- Majority in Luxembourg supports gay marriage