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NGOs call on scrapping proposed changes to constitution

TOGETHER 28 organisations and 77 individuals signed an open letter to MPs, asking them not to support the changes which, according to them, introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. They referred to the proposal to amend the constitution with following definition: “Marriage is a unique bond between one man and one woman. The Slovak Republic protects marriage universally and contributes towards its well-being.”

TOGETHER 28 organisations and 77 individuals signed an open letter to MPs, asking them not to support the changes which, according to them, introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. They referred to the proposal to amend the constitution with following definition: “Marriage is a unique bond between one man and one woman. The Slovak Republic protects marriage universally and contributes towards its well-being.”

Human rights advocates stress that the proposed legislation will not improve the existing constitutional protection of marriage, family, parenthood and children, which are also protected by international conventions and human rights treaties which are superior to the Slovak laws, the SITA newswire reported on March 6.

The only aim of this amendment, which is also declared in the explanatory report of the proposal submitted to the parliament by Parliamentary Speaker Pavol Paška and Pavol Hrušovský of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) is to “deny the access of the same-sex couples to the institution of marriage and probably to any other legal regulation of their relationships too”, reads the press release, as reported by SITA.

“It is a violation of law on equality based on minority sexual orientation, in connection with the law on human dignity and other laws, for example on protection of private and family life,” said Jana Debrecéniová, member of the network of law experts of the European Commission in the area of discrimination and member of the Citizen, Democracy, Responsibility civic association.

Debrecéniová added that the state should have very serious reasons for restricting these laws. However, neither the authors nor anyone else has specified these reasons, she added, as reported by SITA.

Martin Macko of Iniciatíva Inakosť says that the adoption of the amendment would be another step to harm LGBTI people and the attempts to prevent discussion aimed on recognition of same-sex couples and LGBTI families.

“Through adopting this amendment the constitution of our state would directly create two categories of people,” said Jarmila Lajčáková, board member of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, as quoted by SITA. “This would mean that the personal integrity, emotions and relations of LGBTI people would not be worth of protection and would be considered the direct threat for the whole society.”

The letter’s signatories called on the MPs to take all necessary legislative and administrative measures to ensure that no family in Slovakia is discriminated against, and noted that Slovakia is among the few remaining EU countries which still do not legally recognise families based on same-sex couples, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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