Liechtenstein legalises same-sex marriage with historic near unanimous vote

The microstate voted to legalise same-sex marriage just one year after legalising same-sex adoption rights.

Flag of the kingdom of Liechtenstein.
Image: Shutterstock

In a landmark vote on Thursday, May 16, the parliament of Liechtenstein legalised same-sex marriage, making it the 22nd European country to do so.

Members of the Liechtenstein parliament voted nearly unanimously in favour of the measure, with 24 of the country’s 25 MPs voting in support of legalising same-sex marriage, as reported by Liechtensteiner Vaterland

Speaking on the successful vote, Daniel Seger, a spokesperson for the conservative Progressive Citizens’ Party in Liechtenstein, said that the measure’s success was a “big relief”.

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

Liechtenstein follows other German-speaking countries like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2017, 2019, and 2022 respectively. 

While the microstate only voted to fully legalise same-sex marriage yesterday, the country has allowed same-sex couples to enter into legalised registered partnerships since 2011, though not with the same rights as married heterosexual couples. 

The country of fewer than 40,000 citizens has made significant advancements in LGBTQ+ equality in recent years, including hosting its first-ever Pride event in 2022. 

Prince Hans-Adam II, the monarch of Liechtenstein, has previously spoken in support of legalising same-sex marriage, but stood firm in his belief that same-sex couples should remain unable to adopt children. 

“I have nothing against (same-sex marriage),” the monarch told Radio Liechtenstein in 2021. “As long as it does not mean that homosexuals can also adopt.

“Children have the right to grow up in a normal family. There is a problem if two homosexuals are allowed to adopt,” Prince Hans-Adam II added. 

Despite the monarch’s objections to same-sex adoptions, the Liechtenstein Parliament approved the practice in 2023 following a ruling by the country’s constitutional court. 

The recently approved marriage law amendment is scheduled to go into effect in Liechtenstein starting on January 1, 2025. 

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