Andorra, a small European country located between Spain and France, is set to legalize same-sex marriage.
A bill removing a legal distinction between same-sex civil unions, which have been legal since 2014, and marriages between heterosexual couples is expected to go into effect in the coming months, Reuters reports.
“The term civil union was confusing, especially when it was necessary to register in foreign civil registries, which were not always recognized, and therefore the affected couple could not be registered,” said Democratic Counselor, Ester Molné, according to Gay Star News.
Human rights lawyer Jonathan Cooper said the country’s upcoming reform should act as a signal to “countries that continue to discriminate against LGBT people and persecute them as they do in Russia.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently submitted an amendment to the country’s Constitution, including one that would define marriage as between “a man and a woman.”
Katrin Hugendubel, advocacy director at ILGA-Europe, noted that the fight for LGBTQ rights should continue even in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hugendubel called the country’s decision “a message to all of Europe that human rights are not to be forgotten, or to be exploited for political gain, at this time of global turbulence.”