“COC Nederland – Björn van Roozendaal” <BvanRoozendaal@coc.nl>
The Peace Institute (Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Call for submissions to upcoming book on Everyday life of GLBT in Eastern an Central Europe. To be published at the end of 2006 in English as part of the Peace Institute’s “Politike Symposion” series (see: http://www.mirovni-institut.si/eindex.htm, publications).
The original idea for this book came from the international conference »Intimate/sexual citizenship«, which was held in Ljubljana in October 2005. The aim of the conference and the following project (see: www.mirovni-institut.si/razlicnost) was to activate, publicly reflect and promote the concept of intimate citizenship and intimate citizenship rights by which we understand the fundamental right to actively participate in public (and private) life as a sexual person regardless of one’s sexual orientation, intimate choices, gender etc.
We are currently seeking proposals for academic papers. Our focus is on LGBT people themselves. The book aims to provide an overall review and comparison of the existing qualitative and quantitative data on everyday life and position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people as intimate citizens in Eastern and Central Europe. The topics to be addressed are (but not limited to):
. Coming out and the construction of homosexual/bisexual/transsexual identities; how and what kind of identities LGBT people develop, what their life organizing strategies and values are etc.
. Partnership and family issues
. Violence and (internalised) homophobia
. Cultural (media) representations of LGBT people.
Thus we are NOT looking for legal analyses or results of opinion surveys of the general public on LGBT issues nor an overview of development of LGBT NGOs and their activities. (Although this information can be included in the text, if needed – but only as background information.)
Articles should be about 25 pages long (1.5 spaced).
The proposal deadline is June 15, 2006. Proposals should be no more than 500 words, please include your email and postal address, and telephone number.
Please send proposals (and any questions you may have) to the editors:
Roman Kuhar (Peace Institute, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia): firstname.lastname@example.org or
Judit Takács (Institute of Sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary): email@example.com
Final submission deadline: September 10, 2006.
This is an open call, please distribute it widely.
July 31, 2006
Slovenia has granted legal recognition to registered same gender partners
The Baltic nation of Slovenia has granted legal recognition to registered same gender partners, but with significant restrictions. The new law gives gay and lesbian couples access to each other’s pensions and property, but inexplicably limits those at the official ceremonies to the couple and a local registry official.
Slovenia’s gay and lesbian organizations, while welcoming the move, criticized the law as “insufficient” because no friends or family can attend the ceremonies, and they may only be conducted in a state office. Lesbian and gay couples must register 30 days in advance, and provide documents proving they are sane, healthy and unmarried. In early July the Czech Republic became the first country in the region to legalize much less restrictive gay and lesbian civil partnerships.
July 24, 2006
Same-sex unions become law in Slovenia
The republic of Slovenia has legalized same-sex unions but put restrictions on the ceremony, United Press International reported Monday. The measure allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their partnership went into effect Sunday, according to Belgrade’s B92 radio station. Slovenia’s gay and lesbian organizations, while welcoming the move as a concrete step, criticized the law as “insufficient,” noting that it limits those attending the ceremonies to two partners and a local community registration official.
Friends, relatives or any third person are barred from attending the ceremonies, which can be held only in a state office. Same-sex partners must register 30 days in advance, submitting documents proving they are sane, healthy and unmarried. This month, the Czech Republic became the first former Soviet republic to allow same-sex marriages. Slovenia’s National Assembly first considered a bill conferring some same-sex partner rights two years ago. The current measure was proposed in March 2005 and became law this month.
October 6, 2006
Slovenians register first same-sex union
The central European nation of Slovenia witnessed its first same-sex civil partnership Tuesday when Mitja Blazic and Viki Kern registered their union in the capital city of Ljubljana.
The current law, passed in July, allows gay men and lesbians the right to register their unions and covers property issues along with inheritance rights. The law does not, however, grant any other rights associated with marriage including social security or adoption rights. It also excludes guests from being present at the signing of the documents. ” It looked more like a car registration, not a wedding ceremony,” Blazic told the Associated Press, adding that the entire process was “humiliating” and tantamount to “discrimination” because straight couples are permitted to have guests and openly celebrate their unions.
The couple plans to enter a discrimination complaint with the Constitutional Court, delaying their honeymoon until they prevail. An earlier, more comprehensive version of the civil partnership law was shot down after a second reading in parliament in 2005. The bitter divide over questions of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights more generally have been crucial political points for the former Soviet admissions to the European Union. Anti-gay demonstrations and attacks in Poland, Estonia and Latvia suggest that the traditionally conservative cultures of these countries are not always aligned with the rapid democratization and social liberalization that their governments have executed to gain admission to the EU.
Despite these cultural obstacles, LGBT groups are hopeful that Slovenia will join their western European neighbors like Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands in granting full marriage rights to same-sex couples.
20th February 2008
Slovenia to host conference on gay families
by PinkNews.co.uk staff writer
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists, decision makers and experts will attend a conference in Slovenia next month which aims to draw attention to the to the lack of recognition and existing discrimination LGBT families face in Europe. At present only three of the 27 EU member states legally recognise same-sex marriage, six allow equivalent civil registration schemes and a further seven have schemes which provide considerably less rights and protections than marriage. 12 allow some form of same-sex adoption. The conference is being held in Slovenia as they currently hold the EU presidency.
The purpose of the two-day event, from 4th to 6th March, is to enhance a dialogue between European institutions and civil society on the topic of legal recognition of LGBT families. The European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), an LGBT equality and human rights organisation, has partnered with Slovene LGBT organisation LEGEBITRA to organise the conference. “This conference is also an opportunity to continue discussion on what is considered to be a family,” said Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board. Currently, most EU member states and the EU itself have a very narrow interpretation and understanding of what constitutes a family – married heterosexual couple and their children. We want to shed the light on the lived realities and draw the attention of European decision makers to the fact that people live in a variety of arrangements and families. We believe it is not a matter for a state or the EU to prescribe how people should organise their lives, but rather to acknowledge, recognise and support every family in all their diversity.”
Simon Maljevac, Chair of LEGEBITRA, said: “To host an event such as this conference during the Slovene Presidency of the European Union is an honour and a challenge for our organisation. We believe that the discussions facilitated within this conference and the relevant issues brought forward will further contribute to the better understanding of the diversity of the LGBT families in Europe and in the long run have a positive effect in many EU member states. Our hope is that the discussions, experiences and findings presented will influence and encourage national as well as international opinion-makers and authorities towards the enforcement of more inclusive and protective legal support needed for LGBT partnerships and families in EU member states.”
Currently LGBT families are legally recognised only in a few EU member states: Belgium, Netherlands, and Spain have introduced same-sex marriage while Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK have legalised alternative registration schemes for same-sex couples alternative to marriage.
Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Slovenia have introduced alternative registration scheme which provide considerably less rights and protections than marriage and Hungary will do so later this year.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK allow joint adoption by same-sex partners and second parent adoption in same-sex couples.
Denmark and Germany only permit second parent adoption.
At next month’s conference ILGA-Europe will launch two new reports on LGBT families. The first report provides an overview of international law affecting LGBT families and of the problems these families face because of lack of legal recognition. The second report examines the implications of the EU five-year programme on closer cooperation in justice and home affairs for LGBT families. Additionally, ILGA-Europe is also launching a series of 12 posters and postcards portraying the diversity of LGBT families. The posters and postcards highlight the challenges and issues they face because of the lack of legal recognition, as well as various positive developments at European level advancing the legal situation for LGBT families.
“With this conference, we want to put the issue of diversity of family models and their recognition firmer on the EU agenda,” said Deborah Lambillotte, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board. “Unfortunately, only a few EU member states recognise and embrace families in all their diversity. In most EU countries, LGBT families and their children are still ignored, excluded and discriminated against. There is no protection or recognition of LGBT families on EU level and as a result LGBT people, same-sex couples and their children face serious disadvantages.”
March 4th, 2010 – Box Turtle Bulletin
Slovenia marriage bill passes first reading
by Timothy Kincaid
The government of Slovenia is proposing a revised Family Law bill which would legalize same-sex marriage and allow for gay adoptions. The bill was proposed on September 21, 2009 and has gone through a period of public debate.
Yesterday, after heated debate – with much emphasis on the adoption provision – the Slovenian Parliament passed a first reading of the bill by a vote of 46 to 38.
According to the NYU Law School, a bill undergoes three readings, the first of which is a debate over the reasons, principles, and goals of the law.
05 March 2010 – STA
Supreme Court Upholds Gay Adoption
Ljubljana, 5 March (STA) – Reality is catching up with opponents of the proposed new family law, which legalises gay adoptions. The Supreme Court has upheld a US ruling which allowed a gay couple with dual US-Slovenian citizenship to adopt a girl in America, making the couple the girl’s legal parents in Slovenia as well, media report Friday. The couple adopted a girl in New Jersey in 2006, obtaining a court ruling that gave them full rights as parents, the weekly Mladina and the daily Delo reported today.
They wanted to make the adoption legal in Slovenia and received approval from the Ljubljana District Court, becoming the first gay couple in Slovenia to get the same rights as biological or adoptive parents. However, the State Prosecutor General lodged a request for protection of legality, arguing that recognising the verdict of the US court jeopardised the legal and moral integrity of Slovenian law.
The Supreme Court rejected the appeal, saying that Slovenian law as well as the laws of the European Union and the Council of Europe needed to be taken into consideration, a concept known as “international public policy”. This means, the court said, that Slovenian courts cannot reject verdicts of foreign courts even if they run contrary to Slovenian public policy, as long as such verdicts are in accordance with international public policy.
The Supreme Court verdict had also been mentioned by Labour, Family and Social Affairs Minister Ivan Svetlik during Monday’s debate in parliament about the proposed new family law. “This is a precedent that can be used any time for any such case,” Svetlik is quoted as saying by Mladina.
The family law has been embroiled in a veritable culture war along liberal-conservative lines, with opponents of gay adoptions arguing that this undermined the traditional heterosexual family. The bill was endorsed in the first reading in parliament, but conservative groups have already said it would be put to referendum if it is passed.
May 23, 2010 – Gay Agenda
Gay Pride in Slovakia Stopped by Skinheads
by James Hipps
Bratislava is the capital of the Slovak Republic and is also the nation’s largest country with a population of about 429,000. We don’t usually hear a lot of news from this country that boarders both Austria and Hungary, but yesterday, as the country’s LGBT community and allies lined the streets in the first ever gay pride event, they found themselves under attack by a group of anti-gay skinheads.
As reported on various news sources, approximately 80 skinheads assaulted the participants as they gathered in the center of Bratislava for the Pride March throwing stones and smokebombs at the marchers. The police were unable to protect the over one thousand marchers, which was forced to a halt about half way through by police .
Eight members of the attacking party were eventually detained by police. Gay pride parades still face strong opposition in many eastern European countries, and the demonstrators carried out the event despite warnings that an attack was imminent.