Tiny nation of Andorra to introduce same-sex marriages by making one simple change to the law
Andorra is about to introduce same-sex marriages, simply by erasing the distinction between straight and same-sex unions.
The tiny mountain nation sits between France and Spain in the Pyrenees. One of the smallest countries in Europe, it is home to just 77,000 people.
Civil partnerships have been legal in Andorra for same-sex couples since 2014, but local LGBT+ groups have denounced the law as discriminatory and still full of legal deficiencies.
That’s now set to change after Andorra’s governing coalition, which is formed of three parties, all united to jointly present a draft bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
The bill will erase the legal distinctions between same-sex civil unions and heterosexual ‘casaments’. Now, fittingly, all weddings will just be called ‘weddings’.
Meanwhile ‘canonical marriage’, or ‘marriage under church law’, will remain unchanged.
Democratic counsellor Ester Molné said: “The term civil union was confusing, especially when it was necessary to register in foreign civil registries, which were not always recognised and therefore the affected couple could not be registered.”
She said added the legislative changes will bring “significant improvements” in light of the fact that “the family concept is evolutionary and therefore the rules must be updated and adapted to the changes in society”.
Equally as important but not quite as romantic, the amendment to the law will facilitate the divorce process by removing the requirement for couples to have lived apart for three months before they formally separate.
Andorran couples can now divorce quickly without any interim steps – something that will no doubt please as many straight couples as LGBT+ ones.
Although the latest legal changes are a step in the right direction, Andorra still has further to go with LGBT+ rights reform.
There is still no legal right to change gender, and anti-discrimination and hate-crime laws do not cover gender identity.