Deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider (LSAP) and prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) in the Chamber of Deputies last October
Photo: Christophe Olinger (archives)
Family: Luxembourg has joined ten other EU countries in legalizing same sex matrimony after only 4 MPs voted against a new family bill.
The Chamber of Deputies has, by a majority of 56 to 4, approved same-sex marriage and adoption.
All MPs in the government coalition parties, the DP, LSAP, Déi Gréng, all but one MP in the largest opposition party, the CSV, and déi Lenk’s representative all voted in favour, according to the parliament’s website. The ADR’s three deputies also voted against the measure.
The Council of State has stated the legislation introduces “the most fundamental” changes in the country’s family laws since civil matrimony was introduced in 1804.
The same bill also introduced measures against forced marriage, set the age of consent at 18 for both men and women (it has been 16 for women), eliminated the obligatory pre-marital medical exam, and abolished the 300 day waiting period before a partner could re-marry after a divorce or the death of a spouse.
Same sex couples will be able to adopt children under the same regime as heterosexuals under the new law. Previously parliamentarians debated including a clause that limited same sex adoption to cases where one partner was the biological parent of the child.
The laws go into effect six months after publication in the government’s official Mémorial, meaning the marriages and adoptions are expected to begin in early 2015.
The equality measures were originally introduced by the previous CSV-LSAP coalition government in 2010, but were never brought to a full vote before parliament was dissolved last autumn.
Same sex marriage is legal in ten other European countries, several US states and countries in the Americas, New Zealand and South Africa.