Bill on civil union passes first reading in Saeima

  • 2022-03-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Saeima on Friday endorsed a draft law proposed by the Justice Ministry to enable the registration of a civil union between two adults, including same-sex couples. 

The bill on civil unions passed the first reading in parliament by 42 votes to seven and two abstentions. The draft legislation was endorsed with just 50 lawmakers registering for the vote, the minimum number necessary to pass legislation. 

The Saeima has yet to hold a second and third reading of the bill.

Previously, bill caused a heated debate in the Saeima Legal Affairs Committee, which reviewed the bill on civil unions before forwarding it to the parliament. 

The Justice Ministry drafted the bill on civil unions responding to a ruling delivered by the Constitutional Court in November 2020. The court found the regulation not allowing a same-sex partner of a parent to take a paid parental leave discriminatory and obliged lawmakers to ensure the legal protection of same-sex families, including the registration of such unions. 

The bill on civil unions says that its purpose is to ensure the protection of the personal and property rights of the persons entering such civil unions. The draft law lays down rules for registering and annulling civil unions and the parties' personal and property rights and obligations.