DOZENS of people gathered in front of parliament to protest the constitutional amendment authored by the ruling Smer party and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) which, in addition to reforming the judiciary, would define marriage as a unique bond between a man and a woman. The amendment will be discussed in parliament on May 29.

“The amendment to the constitution, which will be discussed soon, is really bad,” said Romana Schlesinger, organiser of the protest, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “It introduces one special category of people who will be protected when getting married, which same-sex couples cannot do.”

Schlesinger said that there are also other groups of people, like single mothers and single fathers, as well as the divorced.

“Our constitution cannot just guarantee the rights for everybody in one part and closely specify what family means in another part,” she said, as quoted by SITA. “Family is about values, such as love, understanding and support, which are values we all are able to show.”

Schlesinger also said that the amendment could cause any laws on registered partnerships adopted in the future to be unconstitutional, as reported by SITA.

Just metres away from the protesters holding rainbow flags were activists from the Alliance for Family, which is seeking a referendum over what it calls the protection of traditional family.

“This amendment is a good step, though not satisfactory since it does not deal with, for example, adoptions,” said Anton Chromík, spokesperson for the Alliance for Family, as quoted by SITA.

Meanwhile, the Slovak branch of Amnesty International criticised the amendment, saying that it was discussed without a debate across the society and without those whom it will affect the most.

“Human rights therefore became a negotiating tool of two political parties, which may lead to a change to the constitution and also to discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said Jela Dobošová, head of the Amnesty International Slovakia, as quoted by SITA.

In refusing to recognise same-sex relationships, such couples will lose access to other rights, like housing or social security, Dobošová added.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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