On May 28, the country of Luxembourg took another step towards legalizing adoption by same-sex couples and marriage equality.
The Luxembourg parliament’s legal affairs committee officially approved bill n°6172A. According to the Luxemburger Wort, the bill was originally introduced at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies in May 2012. The reason it has taken over two years to reach a vote is due to multiple revisions that must then be approved. The current version of the bill will allow same-sex couples access to both open and closed adoptions.
In a previous version, they were only allowed access to open adoption, where some ties with the birth parents are maintained, and barred from more traditional closed adoptions. This was revised after the Luxembourg State Council ruled that the restriction was discriminatory.
When debated within the legal affairs committee, all three of the country’s government parties approved the bill, as did opposition party CSV. Only the most conservative party, ADR, remained in opposition.
Bill n°6172A is intended to reform several aspects of family law in addition to marriage and adoption. It includes provisions fixing the minimum age to get married as eighteen, eliminates the requirement that couples undergo obligatory medical exams before entering into civil marriage, and has language specifically aimed at fighting forced marriages.
The bill is expected to be sent to parliament to be voted on before the beginning of summer. If passed, Luxembourg will be the ninth member of the European Union and the eleventh European country to legalize marriage equality.
According to a 2013 survey, 83 percent of Luxembourg’s citizens are in favor of marriage equality. Additionally, at present both its Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are openly gay.