Latvia's future partnership law is incomplete, says rights movement

The future package of laws to regulate partnerships does not address all problems including children's issues, so same-sex couples will continue to turn to courts with those matters, Kaspars Zālītis, head of the “Dzīvesbiedri” (Life Partners) movement, said in an interview on the Latvian Television's morning newscast November 2.

"This package mainly affects the relationship between people and the state, but it does not affect material issues. […] But this is not a complete package, we believe it is necessary to continue working on a second or third package that would also address other issues that are important to people," Zālītis noted, adding that a total of 70 changes to various laws and regulations would be required.

“These eight [laws] are a good start, but there's still a long way to go,” said Zālītis.

He added that this package of bills does not touch on heritage and property issues, as well as parent-child relationships. "It is no secret that children live in same-sex families, they are absolutely unprotected at the moment and parents are not protected either. These are three issues that still need to be addressed so that we can implement regulation with respect," Zālītis added.

In court, same-sex couples have already been recognized as family in 46 cases, while a total of 67 cases have gone to court.

“The package of laws is not complete – it is necessary to regulate matters of property, inheritance, and children, therefore litigation will continue,” Zālītis said. “This is the ninth attempt in 24 years, so I hope that this time the coalition will vote in favor and this partnership framework will be adopted in two readings,” he added.

The Ministry of Justice on Monday submitted eight bills to the Saeima covering the framework of the partnership as a way of legally strengthening the relationship between two adults and providing them with certain types of social and economic protection. This task was given to the Saeima by the Constitutional Court.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the Saeima directs the package of draft laws for viewing at this week's meeting and adoption at the final reading –  next week.

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