On Tuesday, October 4, Slovenia made history when it became the first Eastern European state to establish marriage equality and legalise adoptions for same-sex couples.
With 48 votes in favour, 29 against and one MP abstaining, the Slovenian Parliament passed an amendment to the country’s legislation, equalising marriage and adoption laws for same-sex and heterosexual couples. The amendment was drafted by the centre-left government led by Prime Minister Robert Golob and faced the strongest opposition from the far-right Slovenian Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDS).
The change comes after the highest court in Slovenia ruled earlier in July that the law, which previously defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was discriminatory against same-sex couples and declared it unconstitutional. With this ruling, which also legalised the adoption of children by same-sex couples, the court established that the government has six months to turn the sentence into law.
With this historic development, Slovenia has now become the first post-communist country to grant such protections to LGBTQ+ couples and the 14th state to introduce marriage equality within the European Union. Some of Slovenia’s neighbouring countries came close, when, for example, the Estonian government agreed to recognise same-sex unions formed in other countries in 2016.
Slovenia legalized same-sex marriage – the first eastern European country to give gay couples the right to marry & adopt children.
This comes after other eastern European countries like Hungary passed anti-LGBTQ laws in 2021.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 18 European countries. pic.twitter.com/exLwmOVfXe
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 4, 2022
In Croatia, while marriage equality is unconstitutional since 2014, same-sex unions are protected under the Life Partnership Act, which grants them almost equal rights to heterosexual married couples, and a historic court ruling legalised same-sex adoptions earlier this year.
While presenting the amendment to the Slovenian Parliament, State Secretary Simon Maljevac said, “With these changes, we are recognising the rights of same-sex couples that they should have had for a long time.
“Slovenia is finally joining a number of countries in Europe and around the world that have already granted equal rights to heterosexual and same-sex couples,t” he added.
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