Slovakia PM to rule out legalising gay marriage
Tue, 4 Mar 2014
Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Robert Fico, is set to back a constitutional amendment that will uphold the traditional definition of marriage.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Slovakia and the proposed amendment will effectively rule out the possibility of legalising it.
Fico said: “The marriage amendment will not bring about any drastic changes; it only seals in the constitution what is already defined by law”.
In exchange for his support he hopes the opposition will back an amendment to introduce changes in the judicial system.
The Christian Democrats and other centre-right parties drafted the marriage amendment.
It will be debated in Parliament from 18 March onwards.
Currently any form of same-sex civil union is illegal in Slovakia.
According to a 2011 census 70 per cent of the country’s 5.4 million population identify as Christian.
Croatia – the European Union’s newest member – has also backed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
In December, two-thirds of those voting in a referendum wanted the country’s constitution to include the traditional definition of marriage.
Croatia’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Josip Bozanic said: “Marriage is the only union enabling procreation”.
He added: “This is the key difference between a marriage” and other unions.
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is currently considering cases from Italy calling for gay marriage to be a human right.
They claim that Italy’s traditional definition of marriage amounts to discrimination.
Their arguments include Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to marry.
Previous ECHR judgments however, have ruled that same-sex marriage is not a human right.