LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe condemns discriminatory constitutional amendment in Slovakia

On 4 May 2014, the Slovak Parliament adopted a constitutional amendment which now defines marriage as a “unique bond between a man and a woman”. 102 parliamentarians supported the amendments and only 18 votes against.

The explanatory document accompanying the constitutional amendment make is clear that “it is impossible to establish the rights and duties associated with marriage in any other way.” Such situation is likely to make impossible any forms of legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

This constitutional amendment is a result of a process with absolutely no public discussion or transparency that led to a virtually hidden agreement between the ruling Social Democratic Party (SMER) and the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) according to which SMER endorsed this proposal by KDH in exchange of KDH support to judicial reform by SMER.

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board, said:
“We are disturbed that Slovak parliamentarians introduced a discriminatory constitutional provision. We are particularly alarmed by the explanatory document which creates legal obstacles for any form of legal recognition of same-sex unions, including civil partnership. This is pure discrimination and conscious limitation of the rights of same-sex and unmarried different sex couples. This also affects the rights and well-being of children born into such families. This is a significant setback for human rights in Slovakia.”

Paulo Côrte-Real, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe, Executive Board, added:

“We are appalled by this agreement between the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Movement which sacrifices human rights and equality principles for immediate political gains at the expense of LGBTI citizens. Instead of showing political leadership and the need to affirm the role of a democratic Constitution in protecting minorities, these political parties chose to support a discriminatory and fundamentally undemocratic measure.”

According to our Rainbow Europe’s Index (May 2014), Slovakia came 24th among 49 European countries in terms of laws and policies affecting the human rights of LGBTI people.