LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Cause for optimism in Slovenia

ILGA-Europe is very encouraged by yesterday’s (Tuesday 10 February) debate on amendments to Slovenia’s Marriage and Family Relations Act.

Members of the Slovenian parliament’s committee on labour, family, social affairs and people with disability met yesterday to discuss defining marriage in gender neutral terms.

As it currently stands, same-sex partnership is regulated legally by the Registered Partnership Act; however several social and economic rights are not granted to same-sex couples. Slovenian law states that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Members of the committee deliberated gender neutral marriage terms and voted in favour of change to Marriage and Family Relations Act by 11 votes to 2.

“This is an infinitely practical suggestion; it proposes treating all couples with dignity and respect. Such a move would signal that Slovenia values its same-sex couples just as much as its heterosexual citizens; based on basic equality principles and common sense” said Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director.

A new Family Code which extended rights and protections currently enjoyed by married heterosexual couples to same-sex unions in Slovenia was previously approved by the parliament in 2011. However, that law was rejected by a narrow margin in a referendum held the following year. Now the time has come to make practical changes that work for everyone and ILGA-Europe will be listening to the ongoing debates with interest and hope.