Latvia LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 18 May 2000, the criminal law was amended:

“Article 161 Sexual acts, pederasty, lesbianism with a person who has not reached the age of 16 –

“Sexual acts, pederasty, lesbianism or other forms of unnatural sexual gratification with a person who has not reached the age of 16 and who is in a situation of material or other dependence on the offender, or such acts committed by a person of full age [i.e. age of majority, in Latvia 18], shall be punishable with imprisonment for up to four years.” [R1.1].

Sexual activity between a person between 14 (the age from which a person can be held criminally responsible) and 18 on the one hand and a person who has reached the age of 14 but not reached the age of 16 on the other constitutes a criminal offence only when there is material or other dependency between these persons.”

Any sexual acts with a person who has not reached the age of 14 is punishable.

R1.1 Juris Ludvigs Lavrikovs: Latvia: Criminal Law Amended to Clarify that Age of Consent is Equal for All 01 SEP 01
Juris Lavrikovs: Latvian Age of Consent Equalised 22 JUL 98
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In March 2001, medically assisted artificial insemination is not at present the subject of legislation and is available only in a few clinics.

The current practice of these clinics does not require the recipient to be married or for there to be enquiries about sexual orientation. Thus single women, including lesbians, can obtain medically assisted artificial insemination [R1.1].

A draft law “On Reproductive Health” is currently in the preparation stage and appears to permit artificial insemination of single women and lesbians [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA-Europe: Equality for Lesbians & Gay Men” Chapter 6 MAR 01
Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1. Asylum, Refugees

In March 2001, Latvian legislation dealing with the issues of asylum-seekers and refugees does not specifically refer to persecution on grounds of sexual orientation as possible grounds for asylum [R1.1].

The Centre for Refugees of the Ministry of the Interior has stated that although lesbians and gay men are not specifically mentioned in the law, the Centre will closely follow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ interpretation of the phrase “social group”, which appears in Latvian law, as including lesbians and gay men [R1.1].

So far there have been no cases when persecuted lesbians or gay men claimed asylum in Latvia.

In 1997, Latvia ratified the UN 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and adopted a law on “Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the Republic of Latvia”. Article 2 of this law defines refugees as individuals “who enter or have already entered Latvia because they have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion” [R1.2].

2. Immigration

In March 2001, only married foreign partners of Latvians are entitled to obtain a permanent residency permit.

Partners of Latvian lesbians and gay men who are not Latvian citizens but residing in Latvia cannot apply for Latvian citizenship outside the normal procedure [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA-Europe: Equality for Lesbians & Gay Men” Chapter 6 MAR 01
R1.2 Juris Lavrikovs: Asylum Made Possible for Persecuted Homosexuals 22 JUL 98