The opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) is lobbying for marriage to be laid down as solely the union of one man and one woman in the constitution.
According to a legislative proposal due to be submitted to parliament in March, KDH also proposes rewriting the Constitution so that the current wording pertaining to marriage is replaced by “The Slovak Republic protects marriage universally and contributes towards its well-being” plus the aforementioned definition of marriage. In its current form, the constitution guarantees legal protection to marriage in general terms.
“Marriage, parenthood and the family are under the protection of the law. Special protection of children and youth is guaranteed,” the constitution states.
“The proposal doesn’t change the valid legal condition; rather, it aims to enhance it from the legal point of view and to stabilise it with respect to the future and trends,” said KDH Chairman Ján Figeľ at a press conference January 14, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He added that this is the party’s response to current trends in society. Figeľ argued that such definitions of marriage are also incorporated in the constitutions of Poland, Lithuania and Hungary. The also conceded that it would be impossible to legalise homosexual marriages without amending the constitution if the change is approved.
KDH is also appealing to all people in Slovakia, institutions, non-governmental organisations and legislators to join its efforts aimed at “improving social conditions” in Slovakia. Figeľ has already approached the chairs of all parties in parliament. He added that support for this has been so far voiced not only by Most-Híd leader Béla Bugár but also by head of the parliamentary social committee Ján Podmanický of the ruling Smer party. Nevertheless, KDH still needs at least 90 votes from MPs in order for the proposal to pass in parliament.
Representatives of the Iniciatíva Inakosť civic association which promotes the rights of non-heterosexual citizens and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual citizens, wrote in a press release that the KDH’s proposal is a praiseworthy and legitimate political goal, but they are sorry that instead of proposing specific measures to support families with children, the idea has been narrowed to just one proposal – the ban of same-sex marriages.
“It remains a mystery how the permanent exclusion of one group of citizens from the possibility of getting married can boost the marriage between a man and a woman,” said Martin Macko, head of the Iniciatíva Inakosť.
(Source: TASR, press release)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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