The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, rejected the bill that would have introduced the institution of partnership of opposite sex couples. The Ministry of Justice, which drafted the law, says the proposed legislation merely acknowledges the existing forms of cohabitation, while the opponents insist that civil partnership is an encroachment on the institution of marriage and is just one step away from legalizing same-sex partnership.
© Fotolia nuotr.

Twenty-seven MPs voted in favour of the proposed legislation on Tuesday, 25 voted against and 16 abstained.

Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis, who presented the bill in parliament, said that popular support for opposite-sex partnership was overwhelming. The goal of the law would be to protect the interests of cohabiting partners and children born out of wedlock, he added. The law specifically spells out that it would only apply to opposite-sex couples.

However, opponents of the bill insisted that once Lithuania legalizes civil partnership, it will be forced to open up the institution for same-sex couples as well. Moreover, partnership would weaken the importance of marriage, they said.

Lithuania's Civil Code, adopted in 2001, makes a reference to out-of-wedlock cohabitation as a form of recognized partnership, but the institution does not work without additional legislation that has yet to be adopted.

Several liberal and social democratic MPs have registered an alternative partnership bill in parliament that would be open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Ex presidential candidate Juozaitis becomes party leader

Former presidential candidate philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis was on Saturday elected chairman of the...

Proposal to make Jan 13 public holiday registered

Two lawmakers from the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats...

Telemedicine services to be launched next year

Lithuania plans to launch telemedicine services for district and regional hospitals as of next year.

From transgender person to Karbauskis' son: 2020 military list (1)

Five players of Lithuania's two top basketball teams, two members of the national football team, a...

Lithuania's population grows for 1st time in 28 years

Lithuania's population has grown for the first time in 28 years due to migration trends, the...