Polish Parliament rejects three bills to extend rights to gay couples

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Poland’s lower parliamentary house has voted today to reject three separate draft laws which would have given legal rights to unmarried couples, effectively preventing same-sex couples from receiving any such rights.

The Associated Press has reported that despite the perceived acceptance of the drafts by Catholic Polish community, all three draft laws proposing legal recognition for registered unmarried couples have been voted down by the Sejm, or lower house of the Polish Parliament.

The laws would have allowed unmarried partners to register their relationship in order to ensure inheritance, access to health information, and alimony rights.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform Party supplied one of the drafts. The others came from the Democratic left Alliance and the pro-gay-rights Palikot’s Movement.

Mr Tusk declared his support for the laws and tried to rally support for them among lawmakers prior to the vote, telling them to vote to make the lives of “many Poles, also homosexual, more dignified.”

Earlier this month, Polskie Radio reported that 16% of Polish people support same-sex marriage. The number is low, but marks a 100% rise since 2003.

In September 2012, centre-right party Platforma Obywatelska said they would introduce civil union legislation for gay couples.