Slovakia to vote in referendum on same-sex marriage ban

Slovakia to vote in referendum on same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] Slovakia held a referendum on Saturday asking voters to decide whether marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman. The vote will also determine other rights for same-sex couples [DW report], such as the right to adopt a child and participate in sexual health education. A vote over 50 percent will be legally binding. Advocacy organizations, such as Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website], have criticized [AI report] the referendum, claiming that the referendum would make it more difficult to overturn the ban. A blanket ban on the adoption of children by same-sex couples is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) [text], to which Slovakia is a signatory.

Last year Slovakia National Council [official website, in Slovak] amended the country’s constitution [text] to specifically define marriage [legislative materials, in Slovak] as the unique bond between one man and one woman. Entities such as Amnesty International Slovensko and the Slovak LGBT rights organization Iniciativa Inakost [advocacy websites, in Slovak] have expressed concern [Slovak Spectator report] over the fact that the rush to pass the amendment gave the public little time to express its opinions regarding same-sex marriage.