Same-sex marriage set for Wednesday vote

17/06/2014
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from Luxembourger Wort: http://www.wort.lu/en/politics/chamber-of-deputies-same-sex-marriage-set-for-wednesday-vote-539fdf2eb9b3988708038430

Luxembourg's Chamber of Deputies is set to vote on same-sex marriage and adoption on Wednesday, after a petition against the bill failed to gain 4,500 signatures online.

The initiative “Schutz fir d'Kand” had launched a public petition online, which gained 3,187 signatures when it reached its deadline for signature on Saturday. Additionally, a so-called “pétition ordinaire” was open for signature.

Both petitions called for the bill to be scrapped or called to a referendum, arguing that same-sex marriage and adoption are not in the best interest of children, which, the initiative says, have a right to a mother and a father.

Together, the paper and online petitions reached the necessary goal, “Schutz fir d'Kand” argued. However, the Chamber of Deputies refused to combine the signatures, saying that the public and ordinary petitions are two separate instruments, following different rules and regulations.

Only a public petition which reaches the 4,500 signature target can force a debate in parliament.

There will, therefore, be no delay for bill n°6172A, which combines a reform of marriage and adoption laws.

Not only same-sex marriage and adoption are addressed in the bill, but also provisions to help prevent forced marriage. The bill also raises the minimum age for marriage to 18 for both women and men, and scraps a compulsory medical exam before marriage.

However, following the opposition to the treatment of their petitions from “Schutz fir d'Kand”, as well as criticism of the treatment in parliament of the anti-tram petition, which did reach the 4,500 signature goal, the Chamber will submit the public petition system to a thorough analysis.

A first review is planned over the coming months, and the results will be discussed after the summer break.

In the meantime, the petition commission hopes to improve communication, with two further petitions already set to be debated in parliament. On June 19 students will meet MPs to express their opposition to a student financial aid reform bill, while on July 17 a petition calling for better animal protection laws will be debated between members of the public and MPs.


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