Recognition of same-sex unions in Andorra

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Andorra has established two registration schemes for same-sex couples: stable unions on 23 March 2005 and civil unions on 25 December 2014.

Stable union

In March 2005, Andorra legalised "stable unions".[1] The new law took effect following promulgation by Co-Prince Jacques Chirac. Co-Prince Joan Enric, the current Bishop of Urgell, did not sign the law. Although the co-princes are both Chiefs of State for Andorra, only a single signature is required to sanction and promulgate new laws, and to order their publication in the Principality of Andorra. The relationship is called unió estable de parella ("stable union of a couple") in Catalan.


Partners seeking to enter a stable union must not be related in direct line by consanguinity or adoption, or in the collateral line by consanguinity to the fourth degree. Both partners must be adults or emancipated minors, must not be already married or in an existing stable union, must live as a couple and at least one partner must be a resident of Andorra or an Andorran national.

Process of registration

The couple must submit an application accompanied by the following documents: A sworn declaration of cohabitation, a copy of the current passport or identity document of both partners, a certificate of residency for each partner (Andorran nationals are exempt from this requirement), a private pact signed by both partners setting out property and personal relations arising from the relationship and the rights and obligations of the relationship and a sworn statement by two witnesses confirming the permanent nature of the cohabitation.[2]

The stable union is registered six months after the declaration and is then entered into the Register of Stable Unions (Registre d'unions estables de parella).

Rights and responsibilities

A couple in a stable union have legal rights and responsibilities including the obligation to support one another, the right to compensation and maintenance in the event of a breakup and the same rights as spouses for the purposes of social security and employment law. The stable union law also recognises the right to adopt a child, subject to the same rules as a married couple, but only for heterosexual couples.[3]


A stable union ends by the marriage of either party, the death of either party, a unilateral declaration by formal written notification notified to the other party or a mutual declaration.

Civil unions

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

On 2 June 2014, following an earlier announcement,[4] the ruling Democrats for Andorra party introduced a bill to establish civil unions (Catalan: unió civil).[5] Civil unions would be equal to marriage in everything but name as the word "marriage" was one of the main reasons why the Democrats for Andorra voted against the failed same-sex marriage law in May 2014 (see below). The bill would also give same-sex couples joint adoption rights.[6][7] After months of consultation, the bill passed the General Council on a vote of 20 to 3 with several abstentions on 27 November 2014.

27 November 2014 vote in the General Council
Party Voted for Yes check.svg Voted against X mark.svg Abstained Absent
     Democrats for Andorra 18 - - 2
     Social Democratic Party - 3 3 -
     Lauredian Union 2 - - -
Total 20 3 3 2

On 24 December 2014, the bill was published in the official journal, following promulgation by Co-Prince François Hollande as the signature of one of the two co-princes was needed. It took effect on 25 December.[8][9]

Andorran LGBT rights groups denounced the law as discriminatory and full of legal deficiencies, and have proposed legal action to obtain the right to marry.[10]


By the end of 2017, 35 same-sex civil unions had been performed in Andorra. Of these, 21 were between male couples and 14 between female couples.[11]

Same-sex marriage

On 21 April 2009, Jaume Bartumeu, leader of the Social Democratic Party, announced that the party would open up a debate on same-sex marriage in Andorra if it won the 2009 elections. The Social Democrats won the election and Bartumeu became Head of Government, but no subsequent action was taken to legalise same-sex marriage,[12][13][14] and the Social Democratic Party was defeated by the Democrats for Andorra in elections in 2011.

In January 2013, the Andorran Superior Court of Justice granted Social Security survivor's benefits to Juan García Pérez, who had married his late husband in Spain, but had never applied for domestic partnership status in Andorra.[15]

The first same-sex marriage in Andorra occurred at the French embassy in Andorra la Vella in November 2013. The marriage was performed under French law, which had recently been amended to permit marriages between same-sex couples.[16]

On 31 March 2014, the Social Democratic Party introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.[17][18][19] On 29 May 2014, the bill was rejected by the Parliament.[20][21] Supporters of the bill had collected some 3,000 signatures in favor of same-sex marriage, which they presented to Parliament.[22]

On 10 March 2020, three parties forming the governing coalition, the Democrats, the Liberal Party and Committed Citizens, presented the draft of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. It will be consulted with the Bar Association and the Superior Council of Justice (CSJ), before being submitted to the General Council. If enacted, the bill will take effect on 1 June 2021.[23][24][25][26][27] The legislation would create two forms of marriage; civil marriage (casament civil), open to both same-sex and different-sex couples, and "canonical marriage" (matrimoni canòmic) performed by the religious authorities. Both would confer the same legal rights and benefits. Marriage officers would not be able to refuse to preside over a civil marriage, except if they have noticied the Civil Registry, at which point another marriage officer would solemnize the marriage.

Public opinion

According to a 2013 survey by the Institut d'Estudis Andorrans, 70% of Andorrans were in favour of same-sex marriage, 19% were against and 11% were undecided or had refused to answer.[28]

See also


  1. ^ (in Catalan) Llei 4/2005, del 21 de febrer, qualificada de les unions estables de parella
  2. ^ (in Catalan) Expedient previ al registre d'unions estables de parella
  3. ^ (in Catalan) Llei 29/1996, Llei qualificada de l'adopció i de les altres formes de protecció del menor desemparat Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ (in Catalan) DA regularà les adopcions per part de parelles homosexuals
  5. ^ (in Catalan) Proposició de llei qualificada de les unions civils i de modificació de la Llei qualificada del matrimoni de 30 de juny de 1995 i de la Llei 14/2004, de 3 de novembre, qualificada de modificació de la Llei qualificada de matrimoni
  6. ^ (in Catalan) Adopció igual per a tots
  7. ^ (in Catalan) Enllestida la llei d’unions civils amb el procés d’adopció dels matrimonis
  8. ^ (in Catalan) Llei 34/2014, del 27 de novembre, qualificada de les unions civils i de modificació de la Llei qualificada del matrimoni, de 30 de juny de 1995
  9. ^ (in Catalan) Demà entren en vigor lleis importants, com la d'unions civils o la 'regla d´or'
  10. ^ (in Spanish) Andorra rechaza llamar “matrimonio” a las uniones de parejas del mismo sexo
  11. ^ (in Catalan) Una trentena de 'matrimonis' homosexuals a Andorra des del 2015
  12. ^ (in Catalan) El PS no descarta el matrimoni gai, tot i no ser una prioritat
  13. ^ (in Spanish) Andorra habla sobre matrimonio homosexual
  14. ^ (in Spanish) El matrimonio gay en Andorra no será tabú, según el Partido Socialdemócrata
  15. ^ Andorra’s Supreme Court Advances Marriage Recognition
  16. ^ "Primera boda homosexual a Andorra". Andorra Difusió (in Catalan). 15 November 2013.
  17. ^ (in Catalan) El PS presenta una proposició de llei per permetre el matrimoni gai
  18. ^ (in Catalan) El PS entra una proposició de llei per regular el matrimoni homosexual
  19. ^ (in Catalan) Proposició de llei qualificada de modificació de la Llei qualificada del matrimoni de 30 de juny de 1995 i de la Llei 14/2004, de 3 de novembre, qualificada de modificació de la Llei qualificada del matrimoni
  20. ^ (in Catalan) DA diu NO al matrimoni gai Archived 2014-05-31 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ (in Catalan) DA rebutja el text del PS sobre el matrimoni gai i en fa un d’alternatiu
  22. ^ "Es lliuren les signatures per a la legalització del matrimoni gay". AndorraDifusió (in Catalan). 20 November 2013.
  23. ^ Proposició de llei de la persona i la família
  24. ^ La unió homosexual es dirà també casament
  25. ^ Les unions civils entre persones del mateix sexe es diran casaments
  26. ^ La llei de família cataloga com a 'casament' la unió de persones del mateix sexe
  27. ^ Andorra set to become latest nation to legalise gay marriage
  28. ^ (in Catalan) Un 70% d’andorrans aprova el matrimoni homosexual
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