Metro Weekly

Liechtenstein’s Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage

The measure recognizing same-sex marriages as valid passes at a time when LGBTQ visibility throughout Europe is under attack.

Aerial view of Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Earlier this month, Liechtenstein’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the German-speaking microstate. 

Lawmakers voted nearly unanimously to approve the measure, with 24 of 25 members of parliament supporting it.

The law will take effect on January 1, 2025.

Daniel Seger, the parliamentary group spokesperson for the conservative Progressive Citizens’ Party — which controls the majority along with the center-left Patriotic Union — called passage of the marriage law amendment a “big relief” after its second reading.

“We felt the pressure and the expectation that we should be the last German-speaking country to introduce marriage for everyone,” he said. 

Germany, Austria, and Switzerland — Liechtenstein’s neighbors and fellow German-speaking countries — legalized marriage equality in 2017, 2019, and 2022, respectively.

In total, 21 countries in Europe now recognize the legal status of married same-sex couples.

Liechtenstein first legalized registered partnerships for same-sex couples in 2011, granting them some of the rights enjoyed by married heterosexual couples. 

The country’s monarch, Prince Hans-Adam II, has voiced support for same-sex marriage but has opposed granting same-sex couples adoption rights.

However, the country’s parliament legalized same-sex adoption and stepchild adoption following a ruling by the country’s constitutional court.

The marriage equality law’s passage comes at a time when there’s a global backlash against LGBTQ visibility, and has seen an increase in violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people, as documented by the LGBTQ advocacy group ILGA-Europe in a recent report

Last year, in the Netherlands, the International Homomonument on the Koekamp, a monument in The Hague dedicated to LGBTQ people persecuted for their sexual orientation, was vandalized with anti-gay graffiti.

The following month, police in Berlin, Germany, arrested a man for attempting to burn down the city’s Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism.

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