Slovenia legalizes marriage for all: first country in Eastern Europe

Slovenia became the first Eastern European country to introduce marriage for all on Tuesday. The parliament in Ljubljana voted on Tuesday with a clear majority of 48 votes for a corresponding change in the law. 29 MPs voted against, with one abstention. The vote follows a decision by the Slovenian Constitutional Court in July, which granted same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.

That constitutional court had judged the previously applicable law as discriminatory, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and provided the right to adoption only for heterosexual couples. With the verdict, the corresponding provisions were declared null and void and Parliament was asked to pass an amendment to the law within six months.

Protests against the verdict of the Constitutional Court

With the amendment that has now been passed, the Slovenian parliament is simply stating that “differences should not be a reason for discrimination,” said State Secretary Simon Maljevac when presenting the relevant draft. “We recognize the rights that same-sex couples should have had a long time ago.”

The largest conservative opposition party SDS had criticized the judgment of the constitutional court and organized several demonstrations with thousands of participants. “The best father will never replace a mother and vice versa,” said SDS faction leader Alenka Jeraj at the opening of the parliamentary session to vote on the new law.

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