LGBT rights in Luxembourg

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Location of Luxembourg (dark green)

– in Europe (light green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (light green)  –  [Legend]

StatusLegal since 1794,
equal age of consent
Gender identityTransgender people allowed to change legal gender without surgery
MilitaryGays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve openly
Discrimination protectionsSexual orientation and "change of sex" protected (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsPartnership since 2004
Marriage since 2015
AdoptionStepchild and joint adoption since 2015

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Luxembourg enjoy the same rights as non-LGBT people. The country is tolerant of homosexuality, and it is largely respected and accepted. Partnerships, which grant many of the benefits of marriage, are recognised. In June 2014, the Luxembourgish Parliament passed a law enabling same-sex marriage and adoption rights, which took effect on 1 January 2015. A large majority of Luxembourgers support same-sex marriage. Additionally, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and "change of sex" is outlawed.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 1794 (when the country was a French possession). Article 372 of the Penal Code sets the age of consent to 16, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender. This was increased to 18 for same-sex sexual activity in 1971 by the addition of article 372bis to the Penal Code, which was repealed in 1992.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Partnerships have been available in Luxembourg since 2004. Partnerships, called partenariat in French and Partnerschaft in Luxembourgish and German, are based on the French PACS model. The Partnership Act which permits these unions was enacted on 1 November 2004.[2]

In 2009, the Government of Luxembourg announced its intention to legalise same-sex marriage. However, after much delay, a final vote was not held until June 2014, when it passed by 56 votes to 4 and took effect on 1 January 2015.

Adoption and family planning[edit]

After a parliamentary vote in June 2014, a law granting full adoption rights to same-sex couples came into effect on 1 January 2015. Additionally, lesbian couples can access IVF and medically assisted insemination treatments.

A same-sex parenting case has been tested through the courts. After their twin boys were born in California via surrogacy, a same-sex couple sought citizenship for their children. In May 2017, the Minister of Justice, Félix Braz, granted Luxembourgish citizenship to one of the children. In December, however, Braz refused to grant citizenship to the other child. The couple filed suit. In January 2019, the Administrative Court of Luxembourg reversed the decision of the Minister of Justice. The judges considered that the complaint was well founded. As both parents are recorded on California birth documents, the judges concluded that Braz was wrong to grant citizenship to one child and to deny citizenship to the other—even if one of the applicants is not the biological father.[3][4]

Discrimination protections[edit]

Luxembourgish law prohibits discrimination (both direct and indirect) based on sexual orientation and "change of sex" (within the definition of sex) in employment, education, social security, healthcare, and the provision of goods and services.[5][6] In addition, hate crime legislation also refers to these characteristics and they are recognised as aggravating factors.[7] Article 1 of the anti-discrimination law, commonly referred to as the Law of 28 november 2006 on equal treatment (French: Loi du 28 novembre 2006 sur l'égalité de traitement; Luxembourgish: Gesetz vum 28. November 2006 zu der Gläichbehandlung; German: Gleichbehandlungsgesetz vom 28. November 2006), reads as follows:

Luxembourgish nationals are allowed to serve in the Armed Forces regardless of sexual orientation.

Gender identity and expression[edit]

In the past, Luxembourg legally required all transgender people to undergo surgery, sterilization and divorce before a change of gender on documents. However, on 12 May 2017, the Government of Luxembourg approved a bill to regulate the procedure of legal sex changes.[8] An adult person would need to submit an application to the Ministry of Justice to change their legal sex. No surgery, sterilization, divorce or other medical treatment would be required. Minors would be able to apply for a sex change through their legal guardians.[9][10][11] On 31 May, the bill was submitted to the Parliament,[12] and was approved in a 57–3 vote, on 25 July 2018.[13][14][15] On 27 July 2018, the Council of State gave its consent to skip the second vote.[16] It was promulgated by the Grand Duke on 10 August and published in the official journal on 12 September. The law took effect on 16 September 2018.[17]

LGBT rights movement in Luxembourg[edit]

The 2011 Gaymat Festival in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg's main LGBT rights group is Pink Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Rosa Lëtzebuerg). It was founded on 26 June 1996 and had 220 members by 2004.[18] Its aims are to promote the civil rights of LGBT people, to fight against discrimination, to work in terms of social, cultural and legal matters for full equality, and to organise social and cultural activities.[19]

Public opinion[edit]

A Eurobarometer survey published in December 2006 showed that 58% of Luxembourgers surveyed supported same-sex marriage and 39% supported adoption by same-sex couples. The EU-wide average in this survey was 44% and 33%, respectively.[20] By 2015, support had increased to 75%.[21]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1794)
Equal age of consent Yes (Except between 1971–1992)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes (Since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 2006)
Anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity Yes (Under "change of sex")
Same-sex marriage Yes (Since 2015)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (Since 2004)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes[22]
Conversion therapy banned on minors No
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned regardless of sexual orientation)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rapport du Groupe européen d'Experts dans le domaine de la Lutte contre la Discrimination fondée sur l’Orientation sexuelle
  2. ^ Loi du 9 juillet 2004 relative aux effets légaux de certains partenariats
  3. ^ Luxembourg Administrative Court, judgment of 19 December 2018 (in French)
  4. ^ "L'enfant aurait le droit d'être Luxembourgeois". L'Essentiel (in French). 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ Loi du 28 novembre 2006
  6. ^ Loi du 3 juin 2016
  7. ^ Code Pénal
  8. ^ Résumé des travaux du 12 mai 2017
  9. ^ Projet de loi relative à la modification de la mention du sexe et du ou des prénoms à l’état civil et portant modification du Code civil
  10. ^ La procédure va être simplifiée à l'état civil
  11. ^ Personnes transgenres et intersexes : l’état civil laissera le choix de l’identité
  12. ^ 7146 - Projet de loi relative à la modification de la mention du sexe et du ou des prénoms à l'état civil et portant modification du Code civil
  13. ^ Chambre : Changement d’état civil simplifié pour les personnes transgenres
  14. ^ Luxembourg makes status change for transgender people easier
  15. ^ Progressive legislation to make changing gender easier
  16. ^ Projet de toi relative à la modification de la mention du sexe et du ou des prénoms à l'état civil et portant modification du Code civil - Dispense du second vote constitutionnel par le Conseil d'État (27.7.2018)
  17. ^ Loi du 10 août 2018 relative à la modification de la mention du sexe et du ou des prénoms à l’état civil et portant modification du Code civil
  18. ^ Rosa Lëtzebuerg a.s.b.l.
  19. ^ (in French) Présentation de l'association Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Eight EU Countries Back Same-Sex Marriage
  22. ^ Luxembourg makes status change for transgender people easier
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)