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Slovenia Repeals Marriage Equality

Voters decided to end the law passed by the country’s parliament.



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Slovenian LGBT rights activists

Darko Bandic

On Sunday, 63% of people who cast ballots in the Slovenian election voted to repeal the country's marriage equality law.

Slovenia’s parliament enacted marriage equality earlier this year in March, making it the only country in Central or Eastern Europe with marriage equality.

Although recent polls show a small majority of the country support same-sex couples right to marry and the law was supported by President Borut Pahor, a referendum was forced by opponents after gathering 80,000 signatures.

Due to the turnout, the vote is binding under Slovenia’s election laws. Slovenia requires at least 20% of the nation’s voters to cast ballots for repeal. The repeal needed 343,104 votes to hit this target and received 380,000.

Slovenia is not alone in passing bans on marriage equality. The neighbouring country of Croatia held a referendum in 2013.

Former Slovenian prime minister and leader of the conservative Slovenian Democratic Party, Janez  Janša, wrote in a Twitter post that the results are a victory for the “voices of reason” and Slovenian children.

Those opposed to marriage equality have argued that children need a mother and father to be raised properly, an outdated argument that has been disproven multiple times. 

Amnesty Slovenia, a human rights group, viewed the results as a civil rights setback for the Slovenian LGBT community. They stated that the amendment is an act of discrimination saying, “Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, to be able to fully enjoy human rights without discrimination, just like couples of the opposite sex.”

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