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Civil Unions Bill Unveiled

The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has launched a public debate of a bill on civil unions that attempts to address discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Under the bill, a civil union would be a community of two women or two men. Civil union would have equal legal consequences as marriage between persons of the opposite sex, the ministry said.


Apart from that, homosexual couples who live together for a longer period of time would have the same status as unmarried cohabiting heterosexual couples. Under the new bill, registration would be abolished, while couples could celebrate their civil union ceremoniously.


The bill moreover targets several other areas, including allowing jobless persons to get health insurance through their partners and granting conjugal visit rights for partners of those in prison.


However, the bill does not touch on assisted reproduction or, notably, adoption, which was allowed for same-sex couples in the far-reaching family law bill changes that were passed in June 2011 but turned down in a referendum in 2012.