Same-sex marriage in Luxembourg

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Same-sex marriage became legal in Luxembourg on 1 January 2015. The bill for legalisation was enacted by the Chamber of Deputies on 18 June 2014. Partnerships have also been available since 2004.


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 Chamber of Deputies on 11 May 2004 with 33 votes in favour, 7 against and 20 abstentions.[1] 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.[2][3]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

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.[4] In July 2007, the motion calling for legalisation of same-sex marriage was rejected by parliament, on a 38-22 vote.[5]

In July 2009, the Government of Luxembourg, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, announced its intention to legalise same-sex marriage.[6][7] 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.[8][9] On 9 July 2010, the government accepted the bill;[10][11][12][13] on 10 August 2010, it was submitted to the parliament.[14]

In May 2012, the bill was re-drafted and the vote was not expected at least until 2013.[14][15][16] 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.[17]

On 6 February 2013, the Chamber's Legal Affairs Committee agreed to approve the measure opening marriage for same-sex couples.[18] On 20 February, the committee initially backed the right to simple adoption for same-sex couples, but restricting plenary adoption to opposite-sex couples.[19][20] On 6 March 2013, the committee confirmed that position.[21][22] 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.[23][24] 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,[25][26] however a further delay was caused by the elections in October 2013 following the resignation of the Luxembourgish government.[27]

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.[28][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.[29][30]

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.[31][32] On 28 May 2014, the Legal Affairs Committee approved the bill. All political parties except ADR were in favour.[33][34] On 18 June 2014, the bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies, in a 56-4 vote.[35][36] On 24 June 2014, the Council of State gave its consent to skip the second vote, a formality.[37] It was promulgated by Grand Duke Henri on 4 July and published in the official gazette on 17 July 2014. The law took effect the first day of the sixth month after publication (i.e. 1 January 2015).[38][39][40]

The first same-sex marriage in Luxembourg was between Messrs Henri Lorenzo Huber and Jean-Paul Olinger, performed by the mayor Roberto Traversini at Differdange town hall on 1 January 2015.[41] On 15 May 2015, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel married his partner Gauthier Destenay at a private ceremony at the capital's town hall. Bettell became the first EU member state leader and just the second serving head of a government worldwide to marry a person of the same sex.[42]

The Chamber of Deputies invalidated a petition that demands the repeal of the laws on marriage, adoption and assisted reproduction for same-sex couples. On 16 November 2015 however, a court declared the petition valid.[43]

Public opinion[edit]

A 2006 Angus Reid Global Monitor poll found that 58% of Luxembourgers supported same-sex marriage.[44]

An April 2013 Polimonitor survey commissioned by the Luxemburger Wort and RTL found support for same-sex marriage at 83% and for same-sex adoption at 55%.[45]

The 2015 Eurobarometer found that 75% of Luxembourgers thought that same-sex marriage should be allowed throughout Europe, 20% were against.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ (French) 4946 - Projet de loi relative aux effets légaux de certains partenariats
  2. ^ (French) Loi du 9 juillet 2004 relative aux effets légaux de certains partenariats
  3. ^ The Partenariat (PACS)
  4. ^ (French) Question de mariage
  5. ^ (French) Résolution Sujet : Mariage des couples homosexuels
  6. ^ (French) Le Luxembourg devrait autoriser les mariages homosexuels
  7. ^ Luxembourg Considers Legalizing Gay Marriage and Adoption
  8. ^ "Luxemburg will Ehe öffnen" (in German). 22 January 2010. 
  9. ^ (German) Homo-Ehe auch in Luxemburg
  10. ^ (French) Conseil de gouvernement Résumé des travaux du 9 juillet 2010
  11. ^ (French) Ouverture du mariage aux couples de même sexe et réforme de l'adoption
  12. ^ "Les gays pourront bientôt se marier et adopter" (in French). L'essentiel. 9 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Is gay marriage on the way for Luxembourg?
  14. ^ a b (French) 6172
  15. ^ (French) 6172A
  16. ^ (French) Des dossiers en attente au Conseil d'État
  17. ^ (French) AVIS DU CONSEIL D’ETAT
  18. ^ (French) Vers le mariage homosexuel
  19. ^ (French) Les couples homosexuels pourront adopter
  20. ^ (French) Adoption pour couples de même sexe bientôt possible
  21. ^ (French) L'adoption simple pour couples homosexuels
  22. ^ "Une adoption simple pour les couples gay?" (in French). L'essentiel. 6 March 2013. 
  23. ^ State Council objects to new adoption law
  24. ^ "Luxembourg: Le Conseil d'État balaie le compromis" (in French). Le Quotidien. 6 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "Breakthrough in adoption law reform for same-sex couples". 19 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "L'adoption plénière pour les couples homosexuels?" (in French). L'essentiel. 19 June 2013. 
  27. ^ "Adoption et mariage gay devront attendre" (in French). L'essentiel. 25 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Programme gouvernemental" (PDF) (in French). Government of Luxembourg. p. 12. 
  29. ^ (French) La loi sur le mariage gay votée d'ici cet été
  30. ^ Luxembourg LBGT community welcomes same sex marriage before end of year
  31. ^ (French) Deuxième avis complémentaire du Conseil d'Etat (20 mai 2014)
  32. ^ State Council warns of gay adoption legal challenges
  33. ^ (French) Feu vert en commission pour l’ouverture du mariage, Chamber of Deputies
  34. ^ "Green light for same-sex marriage in Luxembourg". 28 May 2014. 
  35. ^ Luxembourg passes same-sex marriage and adoption bill in landslide vote
  36. ^ Luxembourg legislature votes to legalize same-sex marriage, adoption
  37. ^ (French) Séances publique et plénière du 24 juin 2014
  38. ^ (French) Mémorial A n° 125 de 2014
  39. ^ Same-sex marriages from January 1
  40. ^ Same-Sex Marriage in Luxembourg from 1 January 2015
  41. ^ "First same-sex marriage in Luxembourg: Jean Olinger and Henri Huber say 'I do'". Luxemburger Wort. 1 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Xavier Bettel and Gauthier Destenay say 'I do'". Luxemburger Wort. 15 May 2015. 
  43. ^ Les anti-​​mariage gay ont le droit à leur débat public, 20 November 2015, L'essentiel
  44. ^ "Eight EU Countries Back Same-Sex Marriage". Angus Reid Global Monitor. 24 December 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  45. ^ Majority in Luxembourg supports gay marriage
  46. ^ Special Eurobarometer 437