Slovenia gay marriage bill passes first hurdle

Government says treating same-sex unions differently is unconstitutional

A bill to allow gay marriage and adoption in Slovenia passed its first hurdle Tuesday (10 February) as a parliamentary committee backed the measure after several hours of debate.

The committee on labor, family, social affairs and the disabled voted in favor of making marriage law gender neutral by 11 votes to two.

The amendment was proposed by the opposition party, United Left, which said that marriage applies to two people – regardless of gender.

Gay civil unions are already legal in the country. However, not all marriage benefits are granted to same-sex couples and Slovenian law defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association welcomed the vote.

‘This is an infinitely practical suggestion; it proposes treating all couples with dignity and respect. Such a move would signal that Slovenia values its same-sex couples just as much as its heterosexual citizens; based on basic equality principles and common sense,’ said Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s executive director.

A new family code which would have extended marriage rights and protections to same-sex unions was approved by the Slovenian parliament in 2011.

However, the law was rejected by a narrow margin in a referendum the following year.

Earlier this week, the Slovenian government issued a statement on the issue:

‘According to the government’s opinion on the draft act, the Slovenian constitution does not allow for the different treatment of same-sex unions; on the contrary, when writing the constitution, the authors were aware of this significant fact and recognized sexual orientation as a matter of personal circumstance, whereby the state should not allow discrimination, as everyone should be guaranteed the same freedom, and should even strive to guarantee equality.’

by Darren Wee
Source – Gay Star News