Slovenia towards the modification of the Family Law

The continuation of the story behind the referendum on Marriage and Family Relations Act hold on the 25th of March 2012 in Slovenia begun as a groundbreaking discussion at the Slovenian Parliament the past Tuesday.

This ongoing process started with the rejection of the proposed changes to the Family Code that would redefine the meaning of family as it was legally determined so far. The amendments did not suggest a clear solution for same-sex registered partners but the goal was to make them obtain the same rights as heterosexual married couples and even the possibility of adoption in some cases.

The law proposal was brought up by the former center – left government and opposed by the Conservatives mostly in the case of adoption.

About the 55% of voters voted against the change of the Family Code at the referendum, while around the 45% supported it.  The turnout overall was low, only about the 26% of voters attended the referendum. The result meant that the proposed changes of the Family Code will not be applied and a new one can not be drafted within a year.

Event though the law did not pass, Slovenia is still relatively tolerant to same-gender couples:  in 2006 they allowed official registration of same – sex relations. With the new government, the Marriage and Family Relations Act reform issue is still ongoing. “Will same-sex partnership soon be equal to heterosexual married couples?” Was the main question of the discussion that took place and lasted several hours in the parliamentary Committee for Labour, Family and Social Affairs.

The new left winged party United Left proposed an amendment explaining that the marriage of two people shouldn’t be defined by gender and therefore this is an even more radical change compared to the one proposed in 2012. With this act they wish to eliminate discrimination against the gay and lesbian part of population. The main aim is to equalize all type of different gender relations.

While the United Left and the Party of the Slovenian PM Miro Cerar are pointing out the fact that Slovenia should finally adopt this law, the conservative party Slovenian Democratic Party is claiming that the result of the process and the process itself is just another manipulative act coming from the Slovenian left. They believe this is not a suitable solution to fight discrimination and a different approach and measures should be taken.

The civil society organization that arrayed against the new law proposal is convinced that the amendments are poorly prepared, lacking a clear content position. They are also reminding that the will of voters should be taken seriously, when they rejected the Family Code three years ago. The government does not oppose to the new proposal, as well as the new Family Code itself is receiving a great support in the Parliament. The changes could possibly be adopted in the beginning of March this year.