ILGA-Europe condemns Slovak amendment banning same-sex marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

ILGA-Europe has condemned the Parliament of Slovakia for passing a constitutional amendment ruling out same-sex marriage becoming law in the near future.

The constitution of Slovakia was yesterday amended to define marriage as specifically the “unique bond between a man and a woman”.

MPs from both the SMER (Social Democrats), and the KDH (Christian Democrats), voted for the amendment.

The ruling SMER agreed to the demands of the KDH, so the latter would therefore agree to support a judicial reform. The ruling party had feared the Christian Democrats would oppose the reform, if it did not support the marriage amendment.

ILGA criticised the way the decision was made, saying it had “absolutely no public discussion or transparency that led to a virtually hidden agreement.”

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board, said: “We are disturbed that Slovak parliamentarians introduced a discriminatory constitutional provision. We are particularly alarmed by the explanatory document which creates legal obstacles for any form of legal recognition of same-sex unions, including civil partnership. This is pure discrimination and conscious limitation of the rights of same-sex and unmarried different sex couples. This also affects the rights and well-being of children born into such families. This is a significant setback for human rights in Slovakia.”

Paulo Côrte-Real, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe, Executive Board, also added: “We are appalled by this agreement between the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Movement which sacrifices human rights and equality principles for immediate political gains at the expense of LGBTI citizens. Instead of showing political leadership and the need to affirm the role of a democratic Constitution in protecting minorities, these political parties chose to support a discriminatory and fundamentally undemocratic measure.”

MPs from other parties were handed a copy of the amendment just hours before its committee stage on 27 May, and no public hearing took place.