Homophobic constitutional amendment in Latvia
On 15 December 2005, the Latvian Parliament adopted a constitutional amendment clarifying that marriage is a union of a man and a woman only. The amendment was initiated earlier this year by the First Party of Latvia who started an aggressive homophobic campaign following the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride March in Riga last July.
Today we launched an online petition in Latvian and English to call on the Latvian President not to sign the constitutional amendment and send it back to the parliament for revision.
According to Article 71 of the Latvian Constitution, the President can, within 10 days from the adoption at the Parliament, not to sign a law adopted by the parliament and send it back for revision.
Latvian activists’ line is that the constitutional amendment is legally pointless, motivated by homophobia, in its substance is discriminatory and is a result of a populist political game by the First Party of Latvia. Same-sex marriage is already banned in Article 35.2 of the Civil Law.Please support us, sign the petition and circulate information about it widely!
Right after the adoption of the amendment by the parliament, Ms Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the President of Latvia, said that the amendment has a declarative substance and is not targeted against a possibility of same-sex partnerships. She believes that the constitutional amendment does not limit same-sex relationships since the amendment does not prevent an introduction of a registered partnership institution for same-sex partners.
She pointed that ‘marriage’ and ‘partnership’ are two different terms.
She also expressed doubt that the constitutional amendment will strengthen the institution of marriage.
During the debates on the constitutional amendment she did not encourage its adoption and said that the parliamentarians should not to be guided by emotions.
Help us to persuade our President that this homophobic constitutional amendment is pointless and needs to be stopped now!