petek, julij 30, 2004

Bill on same-sex unions deferred once again

Parliament voted on 13 July to postpone its decision on legalizing same-sex unions until after the upcoming elections, which will take place in October. [STA / 13.07.04 / Zakon o istospolni partnerski zvezi prepušcen naslednjemu mandatu DZ].

The law is being opposed by the conservative members of parliament of the SDS, NSi and SNS. The law is being championed by the ZLSD, which is appealing to respect for universal values which ensure equality of individuals before the law and respect for human rights and liberties including prevention of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The LDS, DeSUS and SMS also support passage of the law.

The bill was approved by the government on 22 April and sent to parliament for passage. According to the bill, same-sex unions would be legalized and would bear all of the rights and responsibilities of a marriage between a man and a woman, with one exception: members of a same-sex union would not be automatically eligible to adopt children. The Law on Legal Unions and Family Conditions, which regulates marriage, would be unaffected by the bill. [SB / 24.04.04 / Same-sex union debate to hit parliament].

The drive for same-sex unions began shortly after Slovenia’s independence, in 1993. The government founded the first working group on the issue in 1998, and only now have gay-rights activists and politicians been able to arrive at a mutually-acceptable text. The current bill is supported by an alliance of GLBT groups, including Legibitra, Škuc LL, Škuc Magnus and Škuc Roza Klub.

In June, representatives of Slovene gay and lesbian rights organizations met with then-Speaker of Parliament Borut Pahor to discuss the bill. Activists Miha Lobnik and Nataša Sukič hoped to convince Pahor to put the bill up for parliamentary debate before the end of the National Assembly’s June session [SB / 26.06.04 /
GLBT reps meet with Pahor].

In Europe, same-sex unions are currently legal in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. On same-sex unions throughout Eastern Europe, see Boston Globe / 13.06.04 /
Same-sex unions debated in Eastern Europe.