Recognition of same-sex unions in Liechtenstein

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Legal status of same-sex unions

* Not yet in effect, but automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal

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Liechtenstein has recognized registered partnerships (German: eingetragene Partnerschaft) since 1 September 2011.


Registered partnerships[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

On 19 November 2001, MP Paul Vogt (Free List) submitted a registered partnership initiative to the Landtag, which after long discussion referred it to the Cabinet for its opinion. The goal of reducing discrimination was undisputed; rather the kind of recognition and the timing compared to neighbouring countries were cause for discussion. On 15 April 2003, the Cabinet published its position on the matter; it compared the legal situation in Liechtenstein with European countries with recognition of same-sex couples (e.g. Germany had recently introduced registered partnerships), but also with neighbouring Austria and Switzerland, which had no legal recognition of same-sex couples at the time. As the Cabinet saw no urgent need and preferred to await developments in Austria and especially Switzerland, it recommended rejection.[1] On 14 May 2003, the Landtag discussed and rejected the initiative.

On 17 September 2007, Amnesty International Liechtenstein submitted a petition calling for the legal recognition of same-sex couples. A subsequent motion put forward in the Landtag by the Free List requesting that the Cabinet introduce a registered partnership law similar to Switzerland's passed on 24 October 2007 with 19 representatives voting in favour and 6 voting against.[2][3]

24 October 2007 vote in the Landtag[4]
Political affiliation Voted for Voted against
 G  Progressive Citizens' Partya
 G  Patriotic Uniona
     Free List -
Total 19 6
a. Part of the FBP-VU Coalition under Prime Minister Otmar Hasler.

In December 2009, Justice Minister Aurelia Frick announced that she would present a draft of the registered partnership bill in January 2010.[5][6] The draft was presented in April 2010.[7][8][9] After the consultation period for the bill finished on 16 July, a few items were amended as a result of the discussion.

The Registered Partnership Act (German: Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz) has been described as very similar to the Austrian law passed in autumn 2009.[10] In August 2010, Prince Alois declared his support for the bill.[11] On 23 November 2010, the Cabinet formulated the final version of the bill,[12][13] which was approved by Parliament in the first reading on 16 December 2010.[14] It was passed in the second reading on 16 March 2011 and published on 21 March that same year.[15][16]

16 March 2011 vote in the Landtag on the Registered Partnership Act[17][18]
Political affiliation Voted for Absent (Did not vote)
 G  Patriotic Uniona
 G  Progressive Citizens' Partya
     Free List -
Total 21 4
a. Part of the VU-FBP Coalition under Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher.
b. Served as a substitute deputy for Günther Kranz in the afternoon session.


A group called Vox Populi (Voice of the People) announced its intention to force a referendum on the matter.[19][20] According to the Constitution, the organization had until 21 April (30 days)[21] to collect at least 1,000 signatures.[22] As the necessary signatures were gathered (1,208 valid signatures), a referendum was held between 17 and 19 June 2011.[23][24] The registered partnership law was approved by 68.8 percent of those who voted and thus went into effect on 1 September 2011.[25][26]

Family name[edit]

In 2016, the Cabinet reformed family name law. Registered partners are now allowed to have a common family name; however, it is simply called "name" as opposed to "family name" for married couples, thus keeping a distinction. The reform was discussed in the Landtag on 4 March 2016 in its first reading, and was approved in its second and final reading on 31 August 2016.[27][28][29][30] It was published in the official gazette on 3 November 2016 and took effect on 1 January 2017.[31]

31 August 2016 vote in the Landtag on the Act amending the Registered Partnership Act[a]
Political affiliation Voted for
 G  Progressive Citizens' Partya
 G  Patriotic Uniona
     The Independents
     Free List
Total 25
a. Part of the FBP-VU Coalition under Prime Minister Adrian Hasler.
b. Served as a substitute deputy for Christoph Beck.
c. Served as a substitute deputy for Erich Hasler.
d. Served as a substitute deputy for Wolfgang Marxer.


Eleven registered partnerships were performed in the first two years following the entry into force of the law.[34] This made up 2.7% of all unions celebrated in those two years. 8 partnerships were between male couples and 3 were between female couples.

Same-sex marriage[edit]

In June 2017, Justice Minister Aurelia Frick said she was open to a public debate on the legalisation of same-sex marriage. MP Daniel Seger (Progressive Citizens' Party), who helped draft the partnership law, welcomed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Germany and hoped that Liechtenstein would follow suit.[35]

Public opinion[edit]

In June 2017, following the approval of a same-sex marriage law by the German Bundestag, the Liechtensteiner Vaterland commissioned an unscientific online opinion poll wherein it asked its readers whether they support or oppose the legalisation of such marriages in Liechtenstein. 55% answered "yes and as quickly as possible" and another 14% answered "yes" but were opposed to or had difficulties supporting same-sex adoptions. 27% opposed same-sex marriage, while a remaining 4% were undecided or indifferent.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ German: Gesetz über die Abänderung des Partnerschaftsgesetzes.[32][33]


  1. ^ "Stellungnahme der Regierung an den Landtag des Fürstentums Liechtenstein zur formulierten Initiative vom 19. November 2001 über die registrierte Partnerschaft und zur Abänderung des Ehegesetzes". Government of Liechtenstein. 15 April 2003.
  2. ^ "Marriage and partnership rights for same-sex partners: country-by-country". Archived from the original on 2008-04-20.
  3. ^ (in German) Motion
  4. ^ "Motion Betreffend Eingetragene Partnerschaft Gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare Der Abgeordneten Paul Vogt, Pepo Frick Und Andrea Matt Vom (25. SEPTEMBER 2007)" (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  5. ^ (in German) Liechtensteiner Parlament soll im Sommer über Homo-Ehe debattieren
  6. ^ (in German) Liechtenstein: Homo-Ehe kommt nächstes Jahr
  7. ^ (in German) Vernehmlassungsbericht der Regierung betreffend die Schaffung eines Gesetzes über die eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare (LEBENSPARTNERSCHAFTSGESETZ; LPARTG) sowie die Abänderung weiterer Gesetze
  8. ^ (in German) Liechtenstein macht den Weg frei für homosexuelle Partnerschaften
  9. ^ (in German) Liechtenstein will Homo-Ehe erlauben
  10. ^ (in German) In Liechtenstein endete am Freitag die Beratungsfrist für eine Einführung der Eingetragenen Lebenspartnerachaft
  11. ^ (in German) Erbprinz für eingetragene Partnerschaft
  12. ^ (in German) Partnerschaftsgesetz verabschiedet
  13. ^ (in German) Partnerschaftsgesetz verabschiedet Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ (in German) Homo-Partnerschaft kommt voran
  15. ^ (in German) Ja zur eingetragenen Partnerschaft
  16. ^ (in German) Landtag einhellig für Partnerschaftsgesetz
  17. ^ "Traktandum 19: Schaffung eines Gesetzes über die eingetragene Partnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare sowie die Abänderung weiterer Gesetze - Schlussabstimmung zum Partnerschaftsgesetz (16.03.2011 / 19:55:52)" (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Landtagsprotokoll vom 16. März 2011 - Startseite" (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  19. ^ (in German) VOX POPULI Archived 2011-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ (in German) Partnerschaftsgesetz: Doch noch Widerstand
  21. ^ (in German) Liebe ist ein Menschenrecht
  22. ^ Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein
  23. ^ (in German) Partnerschaftsgesetz: Volk entscheidet Mitte Juni
  24. ^ (in German) Liechtensteiner stimmen im Juni über Homo- Ehe ab
  25. ^ "68,8 % Ja-Stimmen für Partnerschaftsgesetz". Liechtensteiner Volksblatt (in German). 19 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  26. ^ "Liechtenstein voters approve civil partnerships for gay couples". LGBTQ Nation. 19 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  27. ^ "Ist der «Familienname» heutzutage überholt?". Volksblatt. 4 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Kein «Familienname» für eingetragene Paare". Volksblatt. 10 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Namensrechtsreform bereit für zweite Landtagslesung". Volksblatt. 6 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Reform des Namensrechts eingetragener Partner (Nr. 14/2016) [1. Lesung: 4. März 2016] - Stellungnahme der Regierung (Nr. 80/2016); 2. Lesung" (in German). Landtag of Liechtenstein. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  31. ^ Gesetz vom 31. August 2016 über die Abänderung des Partnerschaftsgesetzes
  32. ^ "Traktandum 16: Reform des Namensrechts eingetragener Partner; 2. Lesung - Schlussabstimmung zum Gesetz über die Abänderung des Partnerschaftsgesetzes (31.08.2016 / 17:54:12)" (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Landtagsprotokoll vom 31. August 2016 - Startseite" (in German). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  34. ^ (in German) Elf eingetragene Partnerschaften in Vaduz geschlossen
  35. ^ (in German) «Ehe für Alle» in Liechtenstein: Hoffen auf Politik und Volk
  36. ^ "Umfrage: Soll auch in Liechtenstein die Ehe für alle kommen?" (in German). Das Liechtensteiner Vaterland. 30 June 2017.

External links[edit]