Parliament Speaker supports "marriage" Constitution changes

"[A change of definition] could bring clarity at a Constitutional level once and for all,” Usupashvili said., 30 Mar 2014 - 14:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

The topic of family and its status was discussed at the State Constitutional Commission session today.

Commission chairman and Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili told journalists after the meeting, one of the groups of the Commission wold work on the second chapter of the Constitution, which is about Human Rights.

"At the meeting we mentioned the Article, which defines issues related to family and its Constitutional status. Namely, today's edition of the Constitution says that marriage is based on equality of the spouses, [but] could be changed in the following form: The marriage is based on the equality of a man and woman,” he said.

"It is not about a family, of course which is a different term, but in the Constitution there is a definition of the term marriage and I personally support the idea of changing this definition,” Usupashvili said.

He said he did not ever interpret the existing definition of marriage "in another way” but making it more specified would end "idle speculation purposefully triggered in society”.

"[A change of definition] could bring clarity at a Constitutional level once and for all,” Usupashvili added.

On Friday, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili proposed to define the term "family” as the "union of man and woman” in the Georgian Constitution.

He addressed this proposal to the Constitutional Commission and said Georgian legislation had already known such a definition, in which PM Garibashvili was probably speaking about the definition of marriage, since the Georgian Constitution does not say anything about family.

However, it defined marriage and stated "marriage is based upon spouses’ equality of right and free will”.

In addition, Article 1106 of the Georgian Civil Code said "marriage is a voluntary union of a man and woman with the aim of starting a family”.

Garibashvili insisted this change was necessary to avoid speculation and "wrong interpretation” of the marriage concept.

Meanwhile the EU strongly advised Georgia to adopt anti-discrimination laws. The anti-discrimination draft law was approved by Georgian Government at Friday's session and will be presented to the Parliament for further discussions in the near future.