Lithuanian Parliament Adopts Family Law: No to Same-Sex Families

On 19 October 2017 the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law on Strengthening Families. The law established the family model exclusively based on a marriage between a man and a woman, thus discriminating other alternative families. 60 MPs voted in favor of the new legislation, 5 MPs voted against and 9 MPs abstained. Despite the fact that this new law seeks to address important issues within the Lithuanian society, the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL is of the position that the definition of family life established by the law in question indirectly discriminates same-sex families.

The introductory part of the law states that “the foundation of a family is a free agreement between a man and a woman in order to take upon moral and legal obligations” and that “complementarity of a man and a woman is a foundation of an inherent and fundamental community, as well as the most suitable environment for nurture, development and education of a child.” The law also foresees the establishment of new institutions for making and implementing family-related policies, namely The National Family Council, the Commission of Family Policy and the Municipal Family Councils.

In the course of deliberating on the proposed legislation some of the MPs had very positive opinion about it. The representative of the Homeland Union Mr. Andrius Navickas stated that “the only way of combating social emergencies is to address their root causes and there is no other way than investing into families, because only strong families can take care of themselves, namely to bear children and to bring them up.” 

The National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL expresses its concerns over the continuous efforts by the Lithuanian politicians in narrowing down the definition of family life. “Same-sex partners living in stable de facto unions are families and no declarative legal statements can change this reality. We hope that one day our politicians will comprehend that all Lithuanian families are important. We will be able to address the demographic crisis only by acknowledging all Lithuanian families regardless of their marital status,” – commented LGL’s Executive Director Vladimir Simonko. Read more via LGL