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Slovenia rejects legislation favorable to same-sex couples
(Blogmensgo, March 30, 2012) The referendum of 25 March 2012 on the new Slovenian family code was rejected by a majority of voters. The text was to groom the 1976 law strengthening protection for children, but also by giving more rights to gay couples and homo-parental couples in Slovenia.
According to preliminary figures, the referendum was rejected by about 56% of the vote. Polls saw the yes to win but low turnout has exceeded 70%, minimizing the scope of the vote.
The text submitted to referendum is the new Family Law passed in June 2011 by Parliament under the previous center-left majority. The current Conservative Prime Minister Janez Janša openly campaigns against it, as well as civil society organizations and the Catholic Church of Slovenia, who got the 40,000 signatures needed to hold a referendum.
The law of June 2011 has never been applied and Parliament must wait one year after the referendum before the new place is on its agenda.
Invalidating the law by referendum defined the family as "a group comprising of at least one child with one or both parents or other adults who assist." Homosexual couples also got a status identical to that of married heterosexual couples with regard to taxation and inheritance. Moreover, the adoption was legalized for homo-parental couples provided that the adopted child is that of one of the two partners.
Of a total of 2 million inhabitants, Slovenia recorded only hundreds of children living in a gay or lesbian household.
Comment. Half disappointment, certainly, but still half-satisfaction. This is the very low turnout that made possible the victory in the referendum.
It is satisfying to see a Balkan country dialogue - be it through a heated debate - on strengthening the rights enjoyed by the LGBT community. This is all the more commendable that Slovenia, as little scope as it is, belongs to the Balkans where homophobia in any season is as common as pollen in spring.
Half-satisfied, too, because there is no doubt that the main provisions today will come back invalidated in a year on the front of the parliamentary scene, so political and societal.
This article has been translated from our French blog, to view the original, click here.