by Anne-Marie YIM, for FORUM VITAE/ONE OF US LUXEMBOURG
Luxembourg, despite its christian roots and traditions, is one of the most liberal
country in Europe regarding pro-life issues: abortion (1978), euthanasia (2009),
abortion for minors (2012), same sex marriage (2014) have been long legalized at a
highly speed pace agenda and now the battleground has moved to gestational
surrogacy for gay couples (legislative proposal n° 6568). This parliamentary bill aim
to establish laws which will redefine marriage and open full adoption and access to
assisted reproduction services and treatments to same sex couples.
The CSV (Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei), the social democrat party lead by the
actual President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker lost for the first
time after more than 60 years the last elections-losing majority in favor of his
opponent the DP (Democratic Party) , mainly because its christian electorate was
disappointed and felt betrayed by its “compromised position for power” on pro-life
issues in regard to christian values that defend life since conception, as required by
the church and Christ.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, wed his partner on May 2015 therefore becoming the
first gay European prime Minister, sending a strong symbolic message towards the
gay community and showing support for the gestational surrogacy for gay couples.
In February 2016, RTL the Luxembourgish channel has broadcasted a documentary
on surrogacy displaying Tom and Nicolas, a luxembourgish-french couple who gave
birth to twins in October 2015 in Portland-USA where surrogacy is legal thanks to a
surrogate American mother (total cost of the operation:130 000 euros). Although
surrogacy contract pregnancy arrangements are not legal in Luxembourg, the gay
couple would like Luxembourg to recognize the filiation as established by the
American birth certificate of the twins. That is to say: two dads as parents for the two
children, without any distinction that these dads are the genetic parents or that they
are not. A reform of filiation is under way and must precisely resolve this issue. “The
committee has not yet decided on the model to follow. But we agree that the best
interests of the child should always prevail, “explains Viviane Loschetter, chair of the
Legal Affairs Committee.
The political climate is extremely tense since the last couple of years as the
government is systematically pushing towards a separation between the church and
the state, and Xavier Bettel, as Minister of cults wants the suppression of salaries for
On November 2016, after two years of battling, two judicial recourse and more than
4700 signatures gathered, the defense of the child association got finally a hearing
by the Parliament/Chamber of Deputy to expose its defense for the best interests of
the child. During the debate on surrogacy, the pro-life committee clearly denounced
the dangers of surrogacy, insisting on the fundamental fact that the child remains a
subject of law and not merely an object of law, in spite of the deep longing that many
have to be parents. They strongly reaffirmed that surrogacy should not be allowed
because it is an abuse of women’s and children’s human rights. Indeed,the practice
of commercial surrogacy is indistinguishable from the buying and selling of children.
Even when non-commercial (that is, unpaid or “altruistic”), any practice that subjects
women and children to such risks must be banned. Moreover by depriving children of
clear and coherent parentage, these proposals will radically transform the family and
wider society. By promoting parentage by “intention” at the expense of biological
parentage, these proposals will weaken family ties to the detriment of all.
The pro-life association presented to the Deputies an alternative to the same sex
marriage, through “a partnership for common life”, which should give more broader
rights than the actual PACS. It is a contractual partnership established between two
major persons (the “partners”, commonly called “pacsé”), independently of their sex,
and whose purpose is to organize their common life by establishing rights and duties
in terms of material support, housing, patrimony, taxes and social rights.
The association explained that through same sex marriage and the legalization of
assisted reproduction services and treatments to same sex couples, the responsibility
of the Parliament would be heavily engaged towards children deprived from their
Luxembourgisch Deputy Fernand Kartheiser, head of the ADR (Alternativ
Demokratesch Reformpartei), which represents the conservative right wing and who
showed a long term pro-life involvement vote history particularly pledged during his
public speaking, that he and his party will firmly oppose post-mortem medically
At the issue of the hearing, the association demands the Parliament the abrogation
of the law legalizing the same sex marriage and the withdrawal of the gestational
surrogacy for gay couples proposal. The association deeply regrets that the
politicians have not informed the public of the real issues. The French experience
has shown that, once informed of the automatic link between marriage and adoption,
the majority of people (59%) oppose homosexual marriage (IFOP poll – March
2013). Many homosexuals, who claim the right to love as heterosexual couples have
courageously and publicly stood up for what marriage really is: the union of a man
and a woman. And let’s not forget: no one has a right to a child, because no matter
how strong the desire for a child amongst some homosexual adults is, and the
sympathy that it may inspire, this can simply not justify this attack on the child.
Anne-Marie YIM, Ph.