Recognition of same-sex unions in Andorra
|Part of the LGBT rights series|
On 21 February 2005, the General Council passed a bill legalising "stable unions". The new law was promulgated by Co-Prince Jacques Chirac, and published in the Official Bulletin of the Principality of Andorra on 23 March 2005. Co-Prince Joan Enric, the Bishop of Urgell, did not sign the law. Although the co-princes are both the heads of state of Andorra, only a single signature is required to sanction and promulgate new laws, and to order their publication in the Official Bulletin. The relationship is called unió estable de parella (pronounced [uniˈo esˈtable de paˈɾeʎa], meaning "stable union of a couple") in Catalan.
Partners seeking to enter a stable union must not be related in direct line by consanguinity or adoption, or in the collateral line by consanguinity to the fourth degree. Both partners must be adults or emancipated minors, must not be already married or in an existing stable union, must live as a couple and at least one partner must be a resident of Andorra or an Andorran national.
The couple must submit an application accompanied by the following documents: a sworn declaration of cohabitation, a copy of the current passport or identity document of both partners, a certificate of residency for each partner (Andorran nationals are exempt from this requirement), a private pact signed by both partners setting out property and personal relations arising from the relationship and the rights and obligations of the relationship, and a sworn statement by two witnesses confirming the permanent nature of the cohabitation. The stable union is registered six months after the declaration and is then entered into the Register of Stable Unions (Registre d'unions estables de parella).
A couple in a stable union have legal rights and responsibilities including the obligation to support one another, the right to compensation and maintenance in the event of a breakup and the same rights as spouses for the purposes of social security and employment law. The stable union law also recognises the right to adopt a child, subject to the same rules as a married couple, but only for heterosexual couples.
A stable union ends by the marriage of either party, the death of either party, a unilateral declaration by formal written notification notified to the other party or a mutual declaration.
On 2 June 2014, following an earlier announcement, the ruling Democrats for Andorra (DA) party introduced a bill to establish civil unions. The civil unions were intended to be equal to marriage in everything but name, as the word "marriage" was the main reason why the DA voted against the same-sex marriage bill in May 2014. The bill would also grant same-sex couples joint adoption rights. After months of consultation, the bill passed the General Council on 27 November 2014 on a vote of 20 to 3 with several abstentions. The bill was published in the official journal on 24 December, following promulgation by Co-Prince François Hollande, and took effect on 25 December 2014. Andorran LGBT groups denounced the law as discriminatory with several legal deficiencies.
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Abstained||Absent|
|Democrats for Andorra (DA)||18||-||-||2|
|Social Democratic Party (PS)||-||3||3||-|
|Lauredian Union (UL)||2||-||-||-|
By the end of 2017, 35 same-sex civil unions had been performed in Andorra; 21 were between male couples and 14 between female couples.
On 21 April 2009, Jaume Bartumeu, leader of the Social Democratic Party (PS), announced that the party would push for a debate on same-sex marriage in Andorra if it won the 2009 elections. The Social Democrats won the election and Bartumeu became Head of Government on 5 June 2009, but no subsequent action was taken to legalise same-sex marriage, and the PS was defeated by the Democrats for Andorra in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
In January 2013, the Andorran Superior Council of Justice granted social security survivor's benefits to Juan García Pérez, who had married his late husband in Spain, but had never applied for domestic partnership status in Andorra.
The first same-sex marriage in Andorra occurred at the French embassy in Andorra la Vella in November 2013. The marriage was performed under French law, as France had legalized same-sex marriage earlier that year.
On 31 March 2014, the Social Democratic Party introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. On 29 May 2014, the bill was rejected by the General Council. Supporters of the bill had presented some 3,000 signatures in favor of same-sex marriage to the Council. The Democrats for Andorra, who had voted against the bill, announced their intention to introduce civil unions instead; civil union legislation was introduced on 2 June 2014, and enacted on 25 December 2014.
On 10 March 2020, the three parties forming the governing coalition, the Democrats for Andorra, the Liberal Party and Committed Citizens, presented the draft of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. It was consulted with the Bar Association and the Superior Council of Justice, before being submitted to the General Council on 24 November 2020. On 17 December, following a public consultation, the government published its endorsement of the bill. The legislation would create two forms of marriage; civil marriage (casament civil), open to both same-sex and different-sex couples, and "canonical marriage" (matrimoni canònic) performed by the religious authorities. Both would confer the same legal rights and benefits. Marriage officers would not be able to refuse to preside over a civil marriage, except if they have notified the civil registry, at which point another marriage officer would solemnize the marriage. The bill was under public consultation until 13 April 2022, following more than 12 extensions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is likely to pass before the 2022 summer break of the General Council.
According to a 2013 survey by the Institut d'Estudis Andorrans, 70% of Andorrans were in favour of same-sex marriage, 19% were against and 11% were undecided or had refused to answer.
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- "Expedient previ al registre d'unions estables de parella". www.registrecivil.ad.
- "Llei 29/1996, Llei qualificada de l'adopció i de les altres formes de protecció del menor desemparat" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2014.
- (in Catalan) DA regularà les adopcions per part de parelles homosexuals
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- (in Catalan) Demà entren en vigor lleis importants, com la d'unions civils o la 'regla d´or'
- (in Spanish) Andorra rechaza llamar "matrimonio" a las uniones de parejas del mismo sexo
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