The Latvian parliament has voted to allow same-sex couples to establish civil unions in a historic first for the Baltic nation.
MPs voted to permit same-sex couples the right to have their partnership legally recognised as part of legislation set to come into effect in mid-2024.
Couples in civil unions will be afforded certain tax and social security benefits, as well as union hospital visiting rights, although unions will still have less rights than married couples which, legally speaking, are still defined as only between a man and a woman.
Although couples in same-sex unions would still be unable to adopt children and still face inheritance issues, Latvia is no more one of the countries in the European Union that have no recognition for same-sex couples.
This year, Latvian lawmakers also elected Edgars Rinkevics, the country’s top diplomat since 2011, as president to serve for a four-year term.