While the official result won’t be announced until tomorrow, 100% of the ballots have been tabulated and multiple local media outlets are reporting that Slovakia’s anti-gay referendum has failed miserably after only 21.4% of eligible voters turned out. Local activists had urged LGBT rights supporters to stay home today and that result of that tactic can be seen in that all three anti-gay ballot questions (above) were overwhelmingly backed by those who did vote. Per Slovak law, a minimum of 50% of registered voters must cast a ballot for any referendum item to be enacted.
The referendum was forced by a petition campaign by the Catholic Church-affiliated Alliance For Family, which turned in a reported 400,000 signatures. Also backing today’s vote were the US-based Alliance Defending Freedom, NOM, C-FAM, and the World Congress of Families. On Wednesday, Pope Francis urged Slovaks to vote, saying that he encourages “everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society.”
While Slovakia already bans same-sex marriage, the referendum was meant to stiffen that constitutional ban and make it more difficult to undo the ban legislatively. Today’s result is gigantic middle finger – not only to the Catholic Church – but to American anti-gay groups who are increasingly seeking overseas victories in order to justify their existence to their ever-dwindling number of supporters at home. We look forward to seeing if any of them bother to alert those supporters about today’s utter humiliation in Slovakia.