Recognition of same-sex unions in Lithuania

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Legal status of same-sex unions
  1. Performed in the Netherlands proper but not in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. Recognized in New Zealand proper but not Niue, Tokelau, or Cook Islands
  3. Not recognized in Northern Ireland, Jersey, Sark, and seven of the fourteen overseas territories
  4. Not recognized in American Samoa and some tribal jurisdictions
  5. For some purposes, from all jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal
  6. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage
  7. When performed in the Netherlands proper
  8. Registration schemes opened in all jurisdictions except Hualien County, Penghu County, Taitung County, and Yunlin County

* Not yet in effect

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Lithuania does not recognise same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.

Civil partnerships[edit]

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

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

On 25 March 2015, 9 members of the Seimas (Parliament) from the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Movement introduced a partnership bill.[1][2] Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party Algirdas Butkevičius expressed his opposition to the bill.[3] On 6 May 2015, the Committee on Legal Affairs announced that they could find no constitutional barriers to same sex civil partnerships in the Baltic State.[4] The bill was not voted upon and died at the end of Parliament's term in November 2016. A similar bill was introduced by deputies from the Liberal Movement on 30 May 2017.[5] The bill was rejected in its first reading in a 29-59 vote with 20 abstentions, on 15 June 2017.[6][7]

Cohabitation agreements[edit]

In 2017, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Homeland Union proposed a bill to establish "cohabitation agreements" as an alternative to civil partnerships. The proposed legislation would guarantee cohabitants hospital visitation rights and the right to inherit a late partner's property. Povilas Urbšys, one of the authors of the proposal said: "Our registered project will effectively contribute to legal clarity, regulate property rights and some property unrelated relations between people living together and will also help to avoid negative consequences when cohabitation is dissolved."[8] The proposal, which was criticised by LGBT groups, explicitly stipulates that the cohabitants entering the agreement do not intend to create family relations. The proposal was preliminarly approved by the Seimas with 46 votes for, 17 votes against and 6 abstentions on 31 May 2017 and sent to further consideration.[9] [10]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Same-sex marriages are not legal in Lithuania, with the Civil Code defining marriage as a voluntary agreement between a man and a woman. Moreover, there is an additional article in the Civil Code that explicitly bans same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, a drive to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages was reportedly under way in December 2005 by a conservative member of the Parliament, who had started collecting signatures for such an amendment.[11] Julius Sabatauskas, chairman of the Parliament's Legal Committee, however, denounced the plan and said it was unneeded. Some MPs say Lithuania's Constitution already bans same-sex marriage. The Constitution states: "Marriage shall be concluded upon the free mutual consent of man and woman." The actual effect of this statement is unknown and it has yet to be challenged in court.

See also[edit]