Slovakia Rejects Civil Partnerships
today rejected a civil partnerships bill after hearing strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
During two days of heated debate, conservatives accused the opposition of blasphemy, and said granting same-sex relationships equivalent legal status as heterosexual marriage was against traditional family values and a risk for society. Only 14 of 129 deputies present voted to send the bill to a second reading, 94 were against and 20 abstained. "The purpose of the official recognition of same-sex partnerships' legitimacy is the fulfilment of these people's love and responsible relationships," said opposition Freedom and Solidarity party member Martin Poliacik, co-author of the bill, in his opening speech to parliament last week. Replying for the Christian Democrats, also an opposition party, Pavol Hrusovsky, former speaker of the house, said: "This draft law, ladies and gentlemen, is an insane legislative attempt to crash the entire legal system." "This is something that is unprecedented," he said. "You are trying to change the face of this country."This was the third attempt since 1997 to pass the bill.
RELATED: In 2010 Slovakia's first-ever gay pride parade was cancelled after dozens of skinheads and neo-Nazis pelted participants with rocks, eggs, and a tear gas grenade. No parades have been held since then.