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Will Luxembourg be eleven?

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2010

Hot on the heels of Argentina, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is taking action that may make them the eleventh nation to join the marriage equality club.

From L’essential (translated by Google from French)

Since Friday, Luxembourg has made a step to enter the closed circle of countries that permit marriage and adoption for same-sex couples. Indeed, the Governing Council adopted the draft law amending articles related to the union of same-sex couples, as well as those governing the rules of adoption.

This appears to the the first step in a several month process.

The government’s decision does not, however, that marriage and adoption by same-sex couples enter into force in the coming weeks. Indeed, this decision is a further step towards a legislative change. “The validation of the bill by the Governing Council will allow him to be brought before Parliament during the next week, said Guy Schuller, head of government communication, contacted by lessentiel.lu. For what is finally adopted, it takes at best six months period, in view of possible opposition parliamentarians and opinion of the Council of State.

(hat tip to reader Jutta Zalud)

Comments

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Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

News 352 reported on 8 July that the proposal would . . .

For those who hold a PACS status, this would include inheritance rights identical to those imposed on married couples rights, leave of absence in the case of a death in the family of the spouse, or the ability to indicate the union on birth certificates. Furthermore, PACS awarded in other countries should be recognized in the Grand Duchy.

Part of that argument is that since 2400 PACS which have been registered in Luxembourg since its inception in 2004 are by straights and only 8% by same-sex couples

“the low percentage of same-sex couple confirms that the PACS does not satisfy homosexuals and does not match their expectations.” [Felix Braz, Greens MP]

Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Clarification for above post.

The News 352 article was in regard to a consideration to reform the existing PACS legislation.

Then, in light of comments such as those by Felix Braz, that spurred a second political track of introducing a full marriage equality bill.

I’m not sure, but I think the current legislation is for reforming (broadening) of the existing PACS with a full marriage equality bill still pending for the future.

Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Oh. FYI: My comments were in regard to

Indeed, the Governing Council adopted the draft law amending articles related to the union of same-sex couples, as well as those governing the rules of adoption.

I think they’re referring to the PACS (civil union) reform legislation; ie, bringing it more in line with what the UK has done.

Timothy Kincaid
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Stefano,

I think that you are mistaken. The minutes of the Jan 9 session (which don’t seem to be available at the moment) were quite specificly marriage.

Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Okay. If they scrapped the PACS reform in favor of legislation introduced for full marriage equality, then that’s good news.

Elliot
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

I’m sorry, Luxem-who?

I think this is great and everything, but I can’t see it making international news. :/

Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, what I’d read said:

The Chamber of Deputies launched a reform 8 July regarding the PACS law, thus opening the door to same-sex marriage.

I’d interpreted that as meaning a reform (expansion) to the PACS law rather than new marriage legislation. So I must have misconstrued the meaning, or (as is often the case) things moved/changed fast enough that it went from being PACS expansion reform to new marriage legislation itself.

Stefano A
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Just out of curiosity, did Francois Biltgen introduce the bill to the House?

H was considering it, so evidently he followed through on getting the bill tabled faster than I thought it would be.

Timothy Kincaid
July 15th, 2010 | LINK

Stefano,

I’m limited in that I don’t read French and rely on Google Translator. And sitting here in (crazy hot) Los Angeles, I don’t have a particularly good sense of history of LGBT rights in Luxembourg. However…

My understanding is that the bill has not yet been presented (or I’ve found no new source saying it has). If you find a source that has better info, please forward a link.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Sorry, I don’t read French either. *LOL*

I have to rely on European newspapers/news agencies that provide English language versions.

But the last thing I read was what I referenced above. A report from the Luxembourg news site (News352) from 9 July by Adam Walder, that MP Christine Doerner of the Christlich-Soziale Vollekspartei (Christian Social People’s Party, CSV), introduced a PACS reform to the Chamber of Deputies (lower House) on 8 July that would redress the inequalities that exist in relation to marriage.

For those who hold PACS, that would mean expanded rights for: inheritance rights identical to those of married couples, leave of absence in the case of a death in the family or spouse, the ability to indicate the union on birth certificates, and would require Luxembourg to recognize PACS granted in other countries (eg, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, etc).

At the same time Doerner introduced her plan to the Chamber of Deputies, Francois Biltgen, who is the CSV leader, as well as the Minister of Justice, Culture and (I think) Religion, was considering introducing a bill this week to the House that would specifically be for same-sex marriage.

I checked News352 for any new information about either PACS or something introduced for same-sex marriage but couldn’t find any new information other than what I’ve been relating.

As Luxembourg has a lower House (the Chamber of Deputies) and an upper (the Council of State [Conseil d'État]), when your article said the Governing Council had adopted the draft law, I thought that meant the Doerner’s plan submitted to the Chamber of Deputies and that that House had drafted a version of Doerner’s plan that had been approved by the Council of State (ie, the Governing Council or upper House).

The introduction and acceptance of a PACS reform plan would be the first step then toward later on (or maybe sooner if Biltgen had introduced his bill) introducing full marriage rights.

However, maybe the Governing Council you quoted doesn’t mean the Council of State but some other council? (Maybe an internal CSV party council? or perhaps a committee in the Chamber of Deputies?)

At any rate, now I’m confused, because you said first that no, it wasn’t a PACS reform plan in any case that was adopted but a full marriage plan. Now you say that no bill for full marriage was introduced at all.

So now I don’t know what you’re talking about that’s being considered and that was approved by the Governing Council (whomever that Council might be). As I thought what the Governing Council must have approved, based on the only info I have, was the adoption of Doerner’s PACS reform plan.

I don’t mind being wrong about this if a marriage plan (or bill) really was introduced. I’ve just not seen any confirmation of that (that I could read. *LOL*)

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Oh. BTW: Just as a bit of reference. The government of Luxembourg had this same discussion at the exact same time in July last year as a part of the agenda for the new coalition government with Biltgen saying the bill on the opening of marriage will be presented to the House by the Ministry of Justice, “as soon as possible”.

FYI: Even if same-sex marriage is opened it will not create a right to adoption for same-sex couples; that would still have to be passed through a reform in the adoption law.

F Young
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

It is clear at:

http://www.gouvernement.lu/salle_presse/conseils_de_gouvernement/2010/07-juillet/09-consgouv/index.html

that the bill concerns same-sex marriage, not same-sex partnerships. The word “marriage” is used exclusively; PCAS is not used. All the foreign countries mentioned recognize same-sex marriages; France is conspicuously not mentioned.

The draft bill was accepted by the “Gouvernment en Conseil,” which can be translated as Government in Council, that is, Cabinet
http://www.gouvernement.lu/gouvernement/organisation/conseil.html

I wasn’t able to find a copy of the bill; thus, it may not have been introduced this week as promised.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Considering that’s in French and neither I nor Timothy read French that’s clear as mud.

But as I said, I don’t mind being wrong, so I’ll take your word for it. But it would be nice to find a report that’s in English so we could read the details.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Sorry if that sounded snippy.

I do appreciate the confirmation that at least it is a marriage bill and not a PACS reform.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Now you two have me wondering why News352 reported on Doerner’s PACS reform plan and not the marriage bill *LOL* Seems like the latter would have been more newsworthy. *LOL*

Titus
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Here is the original article:
http://www.lessentiel.lu/rechercher/story/23910319

I can read French. The article does not mention civil unions, only same-sex marriage (and adoption).

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

I guess what it boils down to is this.

No bill was introduced. Nothing has been discussed in the Chamber of Deputies.

What has happened is that a cabinet advisory body has made a draft suggestion to the Chamber of Deputies to extend marriage and adoption rights.

At least that’s progress.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

*LOL* But that still leaves me wondering what the PACS reform reporting was all about.

Is that something moving forward in the meantime, while the marriage extension is being pondered?

I’m not disputing they’re considering full marriage and adoption.

I’m just trying to figure out how that PACS news article fits into this.

Timothy Kincaid
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Stefano,

The online translaters are pretty good sometimes. While some things may be lost in translation (literally), this may help answer your questions.

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gouvernement.lu%2Fsalle_presse%2Fconseils_de_gouvernement%2F2010%2F07-juillet%2F09-consgouv%2Findex.html&sl=fr&tl=en

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

No. That didn’t really help.

Between your and other comments, it had already been confirmed that opening up marriage and adoption was being tabled/suggested.

But that doesn’t answer the question as to if that’s the case why Doerner introduced her PACS reform plan to the Chamber of Deputies.

The introduction of this marriage/adoption bill would seem to make that moot.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

I think I really am missing something in the translation.

Because either a: the marriage/adoption bill is meant to do away with the need for a PACS, or b: PACS are being reformed as I originally thought to be like they are in the UK where the civil union has all the rights of marriage but where they’re still a civil union, with the difference being that in Luxembourg the PACS are open to couples of straint and gay orientation while in the UK they’re only open to gays.

Michael Smith
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Wouldn’t it be number 12? After Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and now Argentia.

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, I’ll concede that with the translation referring to those countries with full marriage equality, it does seem like it would be option a:.

Michael Smith: When did Denmark pass full marriage?

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Michael, I think Denmark was referenced in that Luxembourg article because they allow full adoption rights rather than full marriage rights. I think Denmark still allows only registered partnerships.

Michael Smith
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks guys for the correction. My mistake. (One should never post a comment to an article without having had a cup of coffee first!)

Jutta Zalud
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

@Stefano A:

> *LOL* But that still leaves me wondering what the PACS reform reporting was all about.

In fact there were two events within short time:
On July 8th the lower house of Luxemburg’s parliament adopted bill no 5904, which is a reform of PACS, giving registered couples more rights, which will enter into force soon, and on July 9th, the Counseil de Gouvernement (cabinet) adopted the reform of marriage, which will permit same-sex couples to marry. This draft has yet to be put on the parliament’s agenda and will probably not become law before some time in 2011. A reform of adoption law is also under way.

Here’s the very brief story about the reform of PACS: http://www.lessentiel.lu/news/luxembourg/story/20301759 and here one about marriage: http://www.lessentiel.lu/rechercher/story/23910319

Stefano A
July 16th, 2010 | LINK

@ Jutta Zalud:

Thank you!

This is what I thought.

Then, in light of comments such as those by Felix Braz, that spurred a second political track of introducing a full marriage equality bill.

TampaZeke
August 15th, 2010 | LINK

Stephano A, every time Box Turtle Bulletin reports on this you hijack the thread with a bazillion comments, challenges and nitpicks.

Just relax bubba.

Jose Peres
August 29th, 2010 | LINK

Hey… Greetings from Portugal. Excellent news are blowing from Luxemburg. On August 10, the bill was submitted to the parliament. Anyone knows when will it be voted? Are there several readings within the process? i suppose so. The good news is that the Social Christian party has backed the bill. Luxemburg is likely to become the 11th.

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