Latvia Has Legalized Same-Sex Civil Unions
The Latvian Parliament has granted permission for same-sex couples to legalize their partnership and form families. The legal recognition of such unions will be possible as early as 2024.
This information is reported by Reuters.
The Partnership Institute is introduced through amendments to the "Notary Law." Starting from the middle of the next year, a notary will be able to issue a document to a same-sex couple confirming their readiness to manage a joint household and care for each other.
Such a document will grant partners the right to visit hospitals and receive various tax benefits, including social security privileges.
"This is a great beginning... Latvia is not one of the six countries in the European Union that have no recognition for same-sex couples," noted LGBTQ rights activist Kaspar Zalitis.
However, the activist pointed out that same-sex couples will still have fewer rights than heterosexual couples, facing certain limitations such as adoption restrictions.
Minister for Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere also emphasized that the parliament currently has no plans to grant same-sex couples the same rights as those in heterosexual marriages.
"We are acknowledging that we have families which are not married, and this is the way they can register their relationship. The political will is to have a really specific kind of registered partnership," said Inese Lībiņa-Egnere.
Meanwhile, in 2020, the Supreme Court of Latvia ruled on recognizing families not in a registered marriage. Since then, 46 same-sex couples have approached the court to legalize their partnership, and their petitions were granted.
In May 2023, the Latvian Parliament elected Edgars Rinkēvičs as the country's president, making him the first ever openly gay leader of the European State.
At the same time, in June 2023, the Estonian Parliament passed a law allowing the marriage of two adults regardless of their gender, effective from January 1, 2024.
It's worth noting that earlier, the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, expressed support for the initiative to legalize same-sex marriages, emphasizing that it is not a revolutionary matter but rather the establishment of fair legal frameworks for existing couples in the Czech society.