Court has recognized 16 same-sex families so far in Latvia

In Latvia, 16 same-sex couples have been recognized as families by the court, the LGBT+ and their allies' association Mozaīka representative Kaspars Zālitis told Latvian Radio on October 28.

However, it is not enough to protect these families and it is also necessary to address a number of thorny issues like "taxation, the issue of inheritance, health. And all of them will, unfortunately, have to be dealt with again," Zālītis said.

As previously explained by the Supreme Court, the state has a positive obligation to provide a family of same-sex couples with the possibility to legally strengthen their family relationships and to be recognized as a family by the state. In a situation where no special mechanism has been established for the public legal recognition and strengthening of such family relations, the court must determine, when examining an appropriate application, whether the relationship between the applicants is to be recognized as a family relationship within the meaning of Section 110 of the Constitution.

The first sentence of Section 110 of the Constitution states that the State shall protect and support marriage - a union between a man and a woman, the family, the rights of parents and rights of the child. According to the Constitutional Court and the Senate, the concept of family also covers same-sex couples where there are close personal links between couples, based on understanding and respect.

Commenting on the 13th Saeima's inability to agree on the execution of the Constitutional Court judgment, while also providing for the protection of same-sex couples' families, Zālītis acknowledged that this has been a problem for people in the LGBT+ community. At the same time, he expressed his determination to continue the work on this issue during the next parliamentary term, and a “Manabalss.lv” initiative on the legal protection of all families has already been submitted to parliament.

“I don't think the road will be easy, but the Saeima must be aware that the Constitutional Court's judgments must be enforced,” said Zālītis. In his opinion, if the Saeima does not advance the matter, the initiative will be taken over by the courts.

Zālītis said that delaying the regulation of partnerships like the civil union law was a political game for those forces who had the wish to find a new enemy and to intimidate the public that values would be compromised though accepting inclusive regulation does not threaten values.

 

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