Zelenskyy responds to civil partnerships petition

27 May, 01:37 AM
A sign on the uniform of a Ukrainian LGBT servicewoman (Photo:REUTERS/Edgar Su)

A sign on the uniform of a Ukrainian LGBT servicewoman (Photo:REUTERS/Edgar Su)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded to a petition to expedite the legalization of state-registered civil partnerships for same-sex and heterosexual couples, according to the update on his official website posted on May 26.

In the petition, several civil organizations urged the president to support Bill № 9103 on the institution of registered partnerships and ask the Ukrainian Parliament to pass it as soon as possible.

“Overcoming severe trials, the Ukrainian state has consciously chosen to move towards European standards, the foundation of which are three fundamental values of the Council of Europe — democracy, rule of law, and human rights,” Zelenskyy’s message said.

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“European law assumes that respect and protection of fundamental human rights – primarily the right to life, freedom, personal security, prohibition of torture, the right to respect for private and family life, prohibition of discrimination – are the main obligations of the state.”

At the same time, the president noted that during martial law, it is not possible to amend the Constitution, which currently stipulates that marriage is "based on the free consent of a woman and a man."

Last year, he suggested that the Cabinet of Ministers consider the issue of the institution of registered civil partnerships. The government tasked the Ministry of Justice to develop a bill on civil partnerships and to eliminate discriminatory provisions that may violate the rights of partners who are not in marriage. The Ministry of Justice is currently working on the proposal.

Bill № 9103 on the institution of registered partnerships is being considered by the parliamentary judicial committee.

"The bill has received a number of remarks and suggestions from the committees and authorized state authorities, which need further refinement for the effective functioning of the relevant institution," the president added.

He addressed Ruslan Stefanchuk, the parliament’s Speaker, and asked him to consider the issue raised by the petitioners.

In August 2022, Zelenskyy responded to a petition for the legalization of same-sex marriages, which gathered over 28,500 signatures. He stated that the Cabinet of Ministers was working on options for legalizing registered civil partnerships in Ukraine.

The bill on civil partnerships was registered in the parliament on March 14.

The author of the bill, Inna Sovsun, explained that registered partnerships are a new institution for those who cannot or do not want to enter into marriage. It can be used by both military and civilian, same-sex and different-sex couples.

Same-sex couples in Ukraine do not legally have the right to marry, cannot jointly own property, inherit a partner's property, or jointly raise children. In the event of the death of one of the partners, the other cannot take custody of their children. Partners are deprived of the right to maintain or care for each other in case one temporarily or permanently loses workability, to be a legal guardian for an incapacitated partner.

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