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Protesters ask for legal protection of all unmarried couples

On Thursday morning by the Saeima building, over 100 people picketed insisting on the legal protection of all families, Latvian Radio reported October 8.

The protest is a response to the recent decision of the Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Commission to reject an initiative submitted by more than 10,000 people regarding legal protection of unmarried couples, regardless of the sex of the partners.

Posters, slogans and songs chanting We are family! in the event headed by various youth organizations with the words highlight the fact that legislative initiatives to regulate the cohabitation of unmarried couples have been rejected by the Saeima for several years.

“We believe that the state needs to create a legal framework so that two adult people can legally register relationships regardless of their sex.

We are certainly satisfied with public support, very many people have come together. There are feelings, there are slogans, we talk to MPs. You can see that people are really here to talk and fight on this issue,” said youth organization Par! representative Kirils Ķirsis and Laura Rigerte.

Janīna Kursīte-Pakule, Head of the Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Commission, participates remotely in the meeting of the National Alliance today, so she did not meet with the picketers. In a conversation with Latvian Radio, she argued that the initiative had been rejected because it was in contradiction with the Constitution.

“The main thing is Article 110 of the Constitution that the state protects and supports the union between a man and a woman. We cannot change the Constitution with the signatures of 10 thousand or 15 thousand people. It has to be worked on, but not by changing the Constitution, which can lead to not very good consequences,” she said.

She said that she had read the letters addressed to her from the people who submitted the initiative. In her opinion, various practical issues would have to be dealt with differently. For example, matters of property problems in a union other than marriage would be dealt with in the Law on Cohabitation.

A couple of years ago, however, the initiative on the drafting of such a law was also rejected, but it is now planned by the Saeima Social and Labor Affairs Commission.

MP Daniels Pavļuts, (Development/For!), said that discussions on these issues will continue in the Saeima and will become effective.

“Visible protests and the expression of future views of the public are felt. Strength of arguments, persuasiveness. It seems to me that the conservative wing is losing and its positions are weakening, the arguments are diminishing. I would say that in general this present, social reality which we see is the most diverse family models,” said Pavļuts.

 

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