The Czech government has agreed to support same-sex marriage with the draft of a first of its kind bill in the former communist bloc country.
The move comes in the wake of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also signaling his support for the move. 46 parliamentary deputies have now signed the bill.
The bill affords wide-ranging marriage rights, on par with heterosexual couples in the republic. Czechs in same-sex relationships would have full rights over any children they have, access to alternative family care, and even widow’s pensions.
16 other European Union countries already provide full marriage equality, but the passage of this bill would make the Czech Republic the first former soviet country to do so.
Currently, the Czech Republic offers civil unions.
Czech marriage advocate Czeslaw Walek was one of the first to react to the news, taking to his Twitter account to share the news.
“Just few minutes ago the Czech government agreed with a parliamentary bill allowing Czech samesex couples to msrry,” [sic.] said Walek. “Huge step forward! It’s time for freedom to marry in Czechia!”
Just few minutes ago the Czech government agreed with a parliamentary bill allowing Czech samesex couples to msrry! Huge step forward! It’s time for freedom to marry in Czechia! #jsmefer
— Czeslaw Walek (@CzeslawWalek) June 22, 2018
Prague Pride’s Twitter account also shared the news, calling the support, “great news for #LGBT in the Czech Republic.”
Czech government decided today to support an equal marriage bill. The document will be discussed by the Parliament now. This is a great news for #LGBT in the Czech Republic!
— Prague Pride (@praguepride) June 22, 2018
The bill will now have to be discussed before the Czech parliament before passage.