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Slovakia parliament approves constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Thursday, June 5, 2014
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Slovakia’s parliament approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, amending its definition of marriage to be the “unique bond between a man and a woman.”

SlovakiaThe bill, approved Wednesday by a vote of 102 to 18 with three abstentions, was jointly proposed by the ruling socialist Smer party and the Christian Democrats, its largest opposition rival, and backed by seven lawmakers from other parties, reports Bloomberg.

The amendment specifically prohibits same-sex relationships to be recognized under the term “marriage,” as well as benefits “to be conferred in any way other than a legally recognized union between a man and a woman.”

The action by Slovakia, where Roman Catholics represent 62 percent of population according to a 2011 census, is a deviation from a majority of European Union countries that have taken steps to legalize same-sex marriage or civil unions.

Critics say Prime Minister Robert Fico is following eastern European peers Poland and Croatia, which have enacted similar bans, to boost support among conservative voters after losing a presidential election in March.

“The move goes against the EU trend and the typical ideology of a socialist party,” said Grigorij Meseznikov, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs in Bratislava.

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