A constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman has received preliminary support in Latvia’s parliament, the Saeima.
On a 55-1 vote, with 12 abstentions, the Saeima on Sept. 15 referred the amendment to its justice and other commissions, the LETA news service reported.
The amendment would modify paragraph 110 of the Latvian constitution—which calls on the state to guarantee the rights of marriage, family, parents and children—by clearly defining that marriage means a union between a man and a woman. That would effectively outlaw same-sex marriage.
The proposed amendment from the First Party of Latvia (Latvijas Pirmā partija) comes less than two months after the capital city of Rīga saw its first-ever gay “pride” parade, an event during which marchers were heavily outnumbered by those protesting against them. The proposed amendment should not be seen as restricting the rights of sexual minorities nor preventing same-sex couples from cohabitating, party spokesman Juris Kokins said in a press release. Instead, it is meant to protect the traditional family.
During the parliament’s initial debate on the amendment, Kārlis Šadurskis of the New Era party (Jaunais laiks) said he supported the goal of the proposal, but added that he is categorically opposed to amending the constitution to accomplish it.
Under Latvian law, parliament has the right to amend the constitution. At least two-thirds of the 100 members of the parliament must be present during voting on constitutional amendments, and at least two-thirds of those present must vote in favor of the amendment. Amendments receive three readings.
Canada this year became the third nation, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to legalize same-sex marriage.
© 1995-2023 Latvians Online
Please contact us for editorial queries, or for permission to republish material. Disclaimer: The content of Web sites to which Latvians Online provides links does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Latvians Online, its staff or its sponsors.