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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.

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Jake
June 19th, 2011 | LINK

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 | LINK

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.

Désirée
June 19th, 2011 | LINK

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

Tony
June 19th, 2011 | LINK

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

Tony
June 19th, 2011 | LINK

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

Terence Weldon
June 20th, 2011 | LINK

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).

jutta
June 20th, 2011 | LINK

@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 http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/06/18/34343) – 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.

jutta
June 21st, 2011 | LINK

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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