Recognition of same-sex unions in Armenia

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Legal status of same-sex unions
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Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not legal in Armenia, though the country recognises all marriages performed abroad, including marriages between people of the same sex.[1][2][3] The Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.[4][5]


In 2006, a same-sex couple celebrated an informal wedding ceremony in the country in the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church).[6][7] The article published about this improvised marriage in "168 Zham" (168 Hours) newspaper provoked a scandal and indignation of local conservative media outlets, politicians and religious officials.[8]

Civil unions and same-sex marriages are not legal in Armenia and there is little public debate surrounding the issues. The Government has close ties with the Armenian Apostolic Church, which opposes same-sex marriage.

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Foreign marriages recognized¹
  Other type of partnership¹
  Unregistered cohabitation¹
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

¹ May include recent laws or court decisions which have created legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but which have not entered into effect yet.

Following amendments in 2015, the Constitution reads :
"Article 35. Freedom to Marry
1. A woman and a man having attainted the marriageable age shall have the right to marry and form a family with free expression of their will. The marriageable age and the procedure for marriage and divorce shall be prescribed by law.
2. A woman and a man are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
3. Freedom to marry may be restricted only by law with the aim of protecting health and morals."[4]

Recognition of marriages performed abroad[edit]

On 3 July 2017, the Ministry of Justice stated that all marriages performed abroad are valid in Armenia, including marriages between people of the same sex. According to the Family Code, marriages between Armenian citizens, those between Armenian citizens and foreigners or stateless persons, which have been registered outside Armenia, are valid inside the country after consular legalization. The article makes no reference to the sexes of the married partners and stipulates that marriages registered in another country which are in line with that particular state’s legislation, are valid in Armenia.[1][2][3][9] This made Armenia the second country of the former Soviet Union, after Estonia, to recognise same-sex marriages performed abroad.[10][11]

It is not known if this recognition gives Armenian same-sex couples any rights or protections under domestic law.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Same-sex marriages registered abroad are valid in Armenia". 
  2. ^ a b Dawn Ennis (December 5, 2017). "Orthodox Christian Cleric Supports Same-Sex Marriage in Armenia". Los Angeles Blade. 
  3. ^ a b "Father Vazken Movsesian Joins Equality Armenia Board". Asbarez. November 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Armenian Constitution of 2015
  5. ^ Human Rights Situation in Armenia 2015 was a regressive year for LGBT people’s rights in Armenia, since the newly accepted Constitution restricted marriage as a union only between a man and a woman
  6. ^ ""Love and Loyalty": Marriage in secret, in an environment of fear - Features -". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "GAYRUSSIA - Равные права без компромиссов". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "GAYRUSSIA - Равные права без компромиссов". Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Armenia Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad". 4 July 2017. 
  10. ^ Court orders entry of same-sex marriage into Estonian register
  11. ^ Aili Kala. "11 - CHAPTER The situation of LGBT persons". Human Rights Centre.