2 July 2014
On 18 June, an overwhelming majority of Luxembourg’s national legislative body, the Chambre des Députés, approved Bill No. 6172A legalising same-sex marriage. Luxembourg now joins a growing number of countries which recognise equal rights to marriage regardless of sexual orientation, becoming the 18th country to legalise same-sex marriage. New Zealand, France, Uruguay, England and Scotland all recently passed legislation to provide equal rights to marry.
Luxembourg’s bill was first introduced in its parliament in May 2012. Along with legalising same-sex marriage, the bill makes several other changes that advance equality. As a result of the bill:
- the definition of marriage is amended so that two people of the same or different sexes may enter into a contract of marriage;
- couples in same-sex marriages have the same rights as those in heterosexual marriages, including rights relating to adoption;
- gender neutral language is employed in areas of the Civil Code relating to various matters of family and private life, including the replacement of references to “mother and father” with “parents” and the removal of the term “husband and wife”; and
- the minimum age for marriage is the same for both men and women, 18. Previously the minimum age for marriage for women was 16.
The bill also introduces measures aimed at preventing forced marriages. Following the signature of the Grand Duc, the bill will enter into force 6 months after its publication in the Official Gazette. It is currently anticipated that the bill will enter into force in early 2015.
The Equal Rights Trust welcomes the adoption of the bill by Luxembourg and the continued progress towards equal rights to marry and to adopt regardless of sexual orientation. We urge states that have not yet done so to legalise same-sex marriage.
To read the bill (in French) click here.