"We do not divide people into sexes and we're talking about partnership between very different people, recognizing all forms of partnership. We have no moral or political right to ignore these people's problems and pretend they do not come up," Eligijus Masiulis, the leader of the Liberal Movement, said during the discussion at parliament on Wednesday.
After Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė of the ruling Social Democrats asked whether the Liberals were in support of same-sex partnerships, Dalia Kuodytė, a member of the Liberal Movement, replied in the positive.
"I see no reasons why a certain group should have restricted rights to partnership. Therefore, we need to talk about the institute of partnership as such, which could be an option for both heterosexual and homosexual couples," Kuodytė said.
A few bills on legalizing partnership were registered at the Lithuanian parliament of the last tenure. None of them, however, reached plenary hearings.
Partnership as cohabitation without a registered marriage was envisaged in the Civil Code that was adopted in 2001. Unfortunately, the institution is still inoperative, as a special law has not been drafted yet.
Prime Minister opposes same-sex partnerships
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has commented that he is against the legalization of same-sex partnerships.
"I have a strong opinion about same-sex partnerships and have said on numerous occasions that I am against them," Butkevičius told journalists on Wednesday.
But the prime minister did not say whether he would back the legalization of opposite-sex partnerships. "When we discuss it, then I will answer," he said.