Lithuania refuses to recognise same-sex marriage for residence permit

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Lithuania has refused to issue a temporary residence permit to the husband of a Lithuanian man.

The country’s Migration Department refused to issue the permit to the Belarusian man who married his husband in the Netherlands.

“The decision is to refuse a permit to temporarily reside in Lithuania on the basis provided,” Tomas Berčinskas, an adviser to the Interior Minister, told BNS.

The men have the option to appeal the decision within 14 days at a regional court.

The Migration Department consulted with the Interior Ministry before making the decision, said the Department’s interim head Evelina Gudžinskaitė.

“Since this case was the first of its kind and it is setting a precedent, we turned to the Ministry of the Interior for an opinion, as this institution is responsible for migration policy,” she said.

“The Ministry of the Interior responded that same-sex marriages are not allowed in Lithuania and such a marriage is not recognised in Lithuania,” she said.

Foreign nationals can apply for residence permits on the basis of family reunification in Lithuania.

A marriage does not have to have taken place in Lithuania to be recognised, but this is the first time where a same-sex marriage has been considered by the Department.