On January 7, 2021, the far- right National Alliance submitted a draft law in order to amend the Article 110 of the Latvian Constitution, which would narrow the definition of family to only a union of a man and a woman.
We strongly condemn this draft law, which is a clear attempt to restrict family rights and consciously take away family rights from any other family forms, including single parents and same-sex couples.
This reactionary draft law has the single aim of taking away family rights from families that were until now protected by the constitution.
It’s obvious that this draft law is connected to lawmakers’ unwillingness to act according to a recent Constitutional court decision.
NA’s offer would not solve the problem, as it is impossible to overrule the constitutional court’s decision. However, it could serve as a reason for several legal proceedings against Latvia as a state, including a case at the European Court of Human Rights.
It is truly concerning that a party that is a part of the ruling coalition in an EU member state is ready to amend the constitution as a way to circumvent duties imposed by the current constitution.
We see this as an attack on one of the oldest constitutions in Europe, as well as on the rule of law.
The proposed amendments would only worsen the current situation for LGBTQIA+ rights in Latvia, which is already the second- worst in the EU.
Furthermore, this amendment would go against one of the main points in the Latvian Constitution- legal equality and the exercise of human rights without discrimination.
It must be noted that the current constitutional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is quite recent- Article 110 was amended in 2006 as a result of a homophobic campaign by a ruling, oligarch-sponsored party, shockingly similar to events currently ongoing in Poland.
During the pandemic, lawmakers should act in solidarity with society and families by providing them with the necessary economic and social support and the necessary means to facilitate the well-being of both children and adults in a time where socio-economic gaps are increasing.
However, National Alliance is attempting to do the exact opposite by showing their disregard for democracy and the rule of law. No family will benefit from hate directed at other families. All families, both “traditional”, but especially socially vulnerable families, same-sex families and single-parent families need real support in this time, not populistic hate slogans.
We stand in solidarity with all families in Latvia and ask the Saeima to vote against National Alliance’s proposal and instead comply with the Constitutional court’s decision and provide legal protection and support for all families.