GAY global news

Lithuania tries, but fails to recognize same-sex couples


Lithuania’s parliament voted against a proposal to recognize the relationships of same-sex couples despite 29 MPs voting in favour.

On Thursday the parliament voted on a proposal to amend Lithuania’s Civil Code to give legal status to all couple regardless of gender.

59 MPs voted against the proposal, 20 abstained and 29 voted in favour.


‘Recognition of the legal status of both different-sex and same-sex couples would send a clear signal that we are a modern Western country and we do not classify our citizens,’ said MP Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen during a parliamentary hearing.

‘We need to respect the dignity of Lithuanian citizens and acknowledge with their legitimate expectations.’

Čmilytė-Nielsen and Liberal Movement Party introduced the proposal last month. The party argued all couples could enter into a recognized partnership at a civil service office. the liberal MPs, proposed that couples could enter into partnership by signing a partnership agreement at a notary.

They also suggested a  that the legal status of partnership would be automatically recognized after the couple would have lived together for more than one year.

Baby steps

Despite not being successful LGBTI advocates in Lithuania are happy with the result.

‘We consider this vote as a victory. Despite the fact that the overall proposal was rejected, the support for same-sex families is slowly gaining its momentum in the Lithuanian Parliament,’ said the Lithuanian Gay League’s (LGL) executive director Vladimir Simonko.

‘We continue to work with the aim that same-sex families are legally recognized in Lithuania.’

While Lithuania sits very low on the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s (ILGA) annual Rainbow Index in the European Union, it has made some progress on LGBTI issues.

In May it became the first country to grant asylum to two gay men from Chechnya fleeing persecution and certain death.