The government on Wednesday, October 3, approved the setting up of a committee for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, the TASR newswire learned. The move was positively assessed by several NGOs defending LGBT rights.
"We asked the government publicly on June 18 ... calling for the formation of this expert and advisory body, and we welcome that the Cabinet has addressed our requirements in such a prompt and clear way," said council member Adriana Mesochoritisová from the Možnosť Voľby (Possibility to Choose) association. She added that despite the fact that Slovakia is one of the last EU countries to set up such a body, this is a breakthrough in terms of the emancipation and social acceptance of the community in Slovakia.
Other organisations - including civic association Fórum života (Life Forum), the Slovak Bishops Conference (KBS) and the Christian Democratic (KDH) party – have, however, voiced their disagreement with the council's formation. In addition, more than 3,000 people have so far signed a call against the establishment of the committee, which was submitted to the government earlier on Wednesday.
The committee will be established as a permanent expert body of the government's human rights, ethnic minorities and gender equality committee. It is set to be chaired by Justice Minister Tomáš Borec, and the tasks of the committee's secretariat will be carried out by the Justice Ministry. Members of the committee will be nominated by NGOs and the state administration.
The LGBT rights committee will address fundamental issues related to the improvement of the rights of non-heterosexuals and an attempt to make state policies within this matter more effective. The human rights committee recommended that the government should set up the body on July 30. This proposal was rejected by the previous government of Iveta Radičová on May 11, 2011, when the motion failed to pass by a single vote. Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and some Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) ministers voted against it.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.