A group of Liberal MPs have proposed legalising gender-neutral partnerships without a right to adopt children, Delfi.lt news website reported on Tuesday.
A respective draft bill is being finalised by MPs Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, Paulė Kuzmickienė, Andrius Navickas, Ieva Pakarklytė and Eugenijus Gentvilas.
Currently, Lithuanian laws do not recognise either opposite-sex or same-sex civil partnerships. Several previous attempts by liberal politicians to legislate civil partnerships fell through at an early stage of the parliamentary process.
The bill would define a civil partnership as "the fact of cohabitation of two persons (partners), registered in accordance with the procedure established by legal acts, for the purpose of establishing and (or) developing, and protecting the relationship of the partners".
Among other things, partners would be able to formally register their partnership with the Civil Registry Office and would be permitted to either adopt a common surname or use a double surname.
All property acquired by either partner during the partnership would be considered community property and would thus belong to both partners.
Ending a partnership would be easier than ending a civil marriage. Spouses must turn to court to get divorced even if they have no children.
A registered partnership could be dissolved by a notary as long as they have no children.
The bill will not allow partners to adopt children, which would be reserved to married couples.
The draft partnership law has been included into the parliament's programme for the spring session, but it has not been yet formally registered.