John M. Becker

Slovakia Approves Marriage Discrimination

Filed By John M. Becker | June 05, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: European Union, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage discrimination amendment, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Slovakia

slovakia-flag.gifLawmakers in the central European nation of Slovakia voted yesterday to add a marriage discrimination amendment to that country's constitution.

Bloomberg News reports:

Slovakia's parliament approved a constitutional ban of same-sex marriages, following some of its east European peers with Catholic majorities, as premier Robert Fico seeks boost support among conservative voters.

Lawmakers in Bratislava, Slovakia voted 102 to 18 with three abstentions for the amendment that defines a marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. The bill was jointly proposed by the ruling socialist Smer party and the Christian Democrats, its largest opposition rival, and backed by seven lawmakers from other parties...

"The move goes against the EU trend and the typical ideology of a socialist party," Grigorij Meseznikov, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs in Bratislava, said by phone. "You could hardly imagine that socialists would propose it elsewhere in Europe. It's a populist move by Fico."

The amendment also includes changes to the judicial system, including a compulsory review of existing judges, which have been criticized by other parties as prone to abuse.

The amendment required a two-thirds approval vote to pass, meaning that if just two parliamentarians had abstained, it would not have gone through.

Slovakia, which is heavily Catholic, is an outlier among European Union countries, most of whom are moving toward or have already embraced relationship recognition for same-sex couples in the form of marriage equality or civil unions.

This appears to be a face-saving move for Prime Minister Fico, who lost his re-election bid in March to philanthropist Andrej Kiska.

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