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Slovakia parliament rejects same-sex partnership bill

The parliament of Slovakia [official website, in Slovak] on Tuesday rejected [press release, in Slovak] a proposed bill recognizing same-sex partnerships within the country. In a 94-14 vote in which 129 members were present, the bill was heavily criticized during the two-day debate for its possible detrimental effect on the country's current legal system. The proposal would have given same-sex couples some of the rights that heterosexual married couples already enjoy such as parental rights over children or inheritance rights after the death of a partner. Supporters of the bill argued [Reuters report] that it would give loving and responsible homosexual couples the legitimacy they deserve. In response, opposing parties condemned the bill of destroying traditional family values in a country in which the majority is Catholic.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] recognition has been a contentious issue both internationally as well as within the US. Thus far in 2012 France, Germany and Scotland [JURIST reports] have all seen new efforts to get same-sex marriages recognized. In September an attempt by Australian legislators to legalize same-sex marriage was overwhelmingly voted down [JURIST report]. During the same month, the US Department of Justice [official website] asked the US Supreme Court to consider two more challenges [JURIST report] to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text], which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. In July a lesbian couple filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] in a DOMA challenge that seeks to achieve for gay and lesbian couples the same federal immigration rights afforded to heterosexual couples [JURIST report].

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