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National Alliance wants Constitution of Latvia to strictly define 'family'

The right-of-center National Alliance (NA) political grouping has submitted to the Saeima a draft law regarding an amendment to the Constitution, which intends to define the concept of family as a union of a male and a female person, according to a statement by NA January 7.

In the opinion of the National Alliance, it is necessary to define more clearly the concept of family in the Constitution of the State, following the judgment of the Constitutional Court on 12 November, which ruled that provisions of the Labor Act regarding rights to parental leave did not comply with the Constitution. The court also said that the family is not just a marriage-based union. It is therefore the responsibility of the State to protect and support all families, including same-sex partnerships.

The National Alliance considers that “it is an arbitrary explanation of the concept of family, which does not correspond to the will of the legislator expressed in the existing version of Section 110 of the Constitution, nor to the understanding of the Latvian public of who the family is”.

"Latvia is a democratic country with a diversity of views and respect for every citizen of it. At the same time, however, there are values that have been particularly close and even sacred for hundreds of years to our people and its culture. One of these values is also the understanding of a family based on the father and mother, man and woman, and their children. So far, such awareness seemed self-evident, but it has been questioned by the decision of the Constitutional Court. In order not to continue the various interpretations of Article 110 of the Constitution, the concept of family must be described in more detail in the Constitution and made as clear and unequivocal as possible," said Raivis Dzintars, leader of the National Alliance.

The proposed draft law encourages the wording of Section 110 of the Constitution as follows:

"The State protects and supports marriage - a union between a man and a woman, a family based on marriage, blood relation or adoption, the rights of parents and a child, including the right to grow up in a family based on a mother (woman) and father (man).

The State particularly helps disabled children, children left without parental care or suffering from violence."

The draft law thus highlights the three possible ways in which the family is formed, said NA. First as a result of marriage. The second, as a result of blood relations, with parents, including non-spouses, producing a child. Finally, as a result of adoption, which is comparable from a legal point of view to blood kinship in the Latvian legal system.

NA explained that there can be a single parent family, but parents cannot be same-sex.

The amendment to the Constitution has been submitted by the deputies of the National Alliance Jānis Iesalnieks, Raivis Dzintars, Ritvars Jansons, Rihards Kols and Ilze Indriksone.

Making changes to the Constitution requires a two-thirds parliamentary vote rather than the usual simple majority vote.

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