Slovenia’s New Same-sex Partnership Bill Advances

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On Thursday, Slovenia’s National Assembly approved a same-sex partnership bill that will fix several deficiencies found in the country’s existing partnership legislation.

Back in 2009, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia ordered Parliament to upgrade their 2006 partnership law, especially in regards to pensions. Two attempts resulted in conservatives collecting enough signatures to force referendums that defeated the proposals by large margins. This third try may finally close some gaps found in same-sex unions.

In 2011, the Government attempted to make same-sex unions equal to marriage in all but full adoption rights, but the law was repealed after the public voted 54.5-44.5% against the proposal in 2012. Although most provisions of the law were rolled back to their 2006 state, a stepchild adoption clause that allows a person to adopt their partner’s child was retained.

A new coalition approved a change to the Family Code in 2015 that would make marriage gender-neutral and grant all couples joint adoption rights, but once again, conservative groups collected signatures to hold a referendum that resulted in the law’s defeat when voters rejected the law by a margin of 63-37%. Like 2012, last year’s vote had a very low turnout.

Following the 2015 referendum result, an Independent member of Parliament presented a partnership bill that would fulfill the Constitutional Court’s order and grant same-sex couples all of the benefits of marriage barring joint adoption and equal in-vitro rights, two legal provisions that conservative groups promised to collect signatures against if Parliament tried to approve them.

Slovenia’s National Assembly approved the new bill this week on a vote of 54-15. The bill now heads to the National Council who has seven days to decide if the Assembly must vote on it again.

For more information on the LGBT rights situation in Slovenia, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Slovenia

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