Slovakia’s national legislature has approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The amendment, drafted by leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-Social Democraty party and the opposition Christian Democrats, was backed by 102 lawmakers while 18 voted against it. The amendment required a two-thirds majority in the 150-member parliament. ‘The marriage amendment will not bring about any drastic changes, it only seals in the constitution what is already defined by law,’ said Fico, whose Smer is a member of the traditionally liberal Party of European Socialists group in the European Parliament. The European Union’s newest member Croatia outlawed same-sex marriage in a referendum last year, triggering a similar constitutional amendment, but swiftly passed a civil union law for same-sex couples. No form of same-sex civil union is legal in Slovakia, where more than 70 per cent of the population of 5.4 million is Christian, according to a 2011 census.
RELATED: Eight members of the 28-nation European Union have legalized same-sex marriage: Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England & Wales). Nine EU members offer civil unions or partnerships: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Slovenia. Eleven EU nations currently offer no recognition of same-sex couples: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.