In the case regarding the legal recognition of a family of a same-sex couple, the Senate applies to the Constitutional Court
7 June, 2021
The Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court (Senate) applied to the Constitutional Court and thus suspended the proceedings in a case in which two persons of the same sex wish to have their family relations recognized and registered.
The Constitutional Court has already acknowledged that the first sentence of Article 110 of the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia imposes an obligation on the legislator to ensure legal protection of a same-sex family or to determine the legal framework of family relations; and the legal framework of family relations means the regulation of personal and property relations between family members, which must also ensure the possibility for persons to legally consolidate their family relations and be recognized by the state as a family. The obligation to provide legal protection for same-sex families also follows from the principle of human dignity, which requires the recognition of the equality of all human beings.
In the opinion of the Senate, one of the elements of this obligation is that the state has to ensure the registration of family relations of same-sex couple in a single state register. Taking into account the definition of a civil status act specified in Section 2 of the Law on Registration of Civil Status Documents, the legal consolidation of a family of same-sex couple is, by its nature, a civil status act, which is therefore to be registered as such. However, the legislator has not fulfilled this obligation by failing to provide for the right of a same-sex couple to be registered in the civil status register; and it cannot be established that there is any overriding competitive public interest that could justify failure to ensure recognition and protection of such relations.
In view of the above, the Senate considers that Section 3, Paragraphs one and three of the Law on Registration of Civil Status Documents, insofar as it does not provide for such a type of civil status act that would allow registration of family relations of a same-sex couple, does not comply with Article 1 (principle of human dignity) and the first sentence of Article 110 of the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia.
See the decision of the Senate here (in Latvian)
The information was prepared by the Department of Administrative Cases