Lithuania: Freedom Party chair urges President to sign civil union bill

If Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda┬ádecides to veto the government’s bill on gender-neutral civil unions, it would cause an “international scandal,” Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite, chairwoman of the liberal Freedom Party, stated, BNS reports. Speaking in an interview on Ziniu Radijas, Armonaite urged Nauseda to take a stronger position on “defending European values.” Nauseda has not made clear whether he will sign the law if the parliament, the Seimas, approves the bill, which aims to recognise same-sex partnerships. Commenting on the bill, Nauseda said that he would not like to focus on the rights of “sexual minorities,” but think about the elderly and families with children instead. Also, he vowed to protect the Constitution, which precludes same-sex marriage. Nauseda noted that an alternative bill on “close relationships” had been submitted by a group of conservative Homeland Union MPs.