Liechtenstein Voters Approve Civil Partnership Law

Jim Burroway

June 19th, 2011

With a 74% turnout, Liechtenstein voters overwhelmingly approved a new Civil Partnership law for same-sex couples today with a 69% to 31%. The proposed law stops short of marriage equality however: registered same-sex unions are still barred from adopting children and from access to reproductive services. But it does open up inheritance, social security, pensions, immigration and naturalization, and tax law for same-sex couples to an equal status to married heterosexual couples. The new law takes effect on September 1, 2011.


June 19th, 2011

Wait, what? Barred from access to reproductive services? That’s a new one! So a lesbian couple is barred from using a sperm donor, and a gay male couple is barred form using a surrogate?

That’s the first I’ve heard of such a ban anywhere. Insane!

Jim Burroway

June 19th, 2011

Actually, that is pretty common in Europe where Civil Partnerships are first enacted. It’s typically not so much that the Civil Partnership law specifically institutes these bans, but that bans were already in place and the civil partnership law didn’t lift it. It usually takes a few years before lawmakers get around to cleaning up all the stuff that didn’t get impacted by the Civil Partnership law.


June 19th, 2011

lesbians can use a sperm doner… they just don’t get the government-provided services that straight couples do.


June 19th, 2011

Jim, are they fully banned, or is it that they can’t use the public health system? Are they allowed to pay?


June 19th, 2011

@Désirée Thanks. I should have refreshed before I commented.

Terence Weldon

June 20th, 2011

This is a small victory, in a small country: but another black eye for the religious right and the Catholic Church, who fought it tooth and nail. (Without their opposition, it would not have gone to a referendum in the first place).


June 20th, 2011

@Tony: We have the same limitation in Austria. Doctors and hospitals are just not allowed to provide artificial insemination for single women or women who live in a lesbian partnership.

Lesbians can of course try to get pregnant by whatever means the think useful (and many do – see my comment here – But, unlike in the case of regular artificial insemination (i.e. by a doctor) the sperm-donor is a legal father in case of such private arrangements. So he will have to pay for the child, he can ask for visitation rights, the child will later be his heir, etc.

Some lesbian couples travel to countries where artificial insemination is possible (eg. UK, Belgium, Netherlands). That’s expensive, of course.


June 21st, 2011

One more remark: surrogates are forbidden in many European countries – even for married heteosexual couples. There’s a feeling that carrying a baby to term just should not be a service that is available for cash and that poor women should be protected against this kind of possible exploitation.

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