Slovak Constitutional Court decides homophobic referendum will go ahead

Tuesday, the Slovak Constitutional Court ruled that Slovakians will be called to vote to speak out over a set of questions seeking to limit the rights of LGBT people and seeking to inhibit sexuality education.

Slovak flagThe questions ended up at the Constitutional Court’s plate after President Andrej Kiska was faced with a citizen’s initiative, which received 400 000 signatures. The initiative was initiated by an organisation called Alliance for Family, and strongly supported by an American far-right evangelical organisation Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Constitutional Court ruled three out of four questions were admissible. One relates to the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, whereas a second seeks to ban adoption of children by “same-sex couples or groups.”

A third question that was deemed constitutional relates to sexuality education, and seeks to include opt-outs if parents do not agree with the content of the education.

Only a question seeking to prohibit any future same-sex registered partnerships was deemed unconstitutional.

Opponents of equality have used referendums since the 1990s to limit the rights of LGBT people, especially in the USA. They have traditionally mobilised enough human and financial resources to ensure outcomes reflect their views.

Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup-designate Daniele Viotti MEP reacted: “I do not understand how the Constitutional Court ruled that these questions are in line with the Slovak Constitution, which specifically forbids referenda on issues of fundamental rights and liberties.”

“I hope that the sensible majority will stand up for the rights of minorities, and that the referendum will be rejected in the end.”

Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup-designate Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, added: “This debate is not about Slovakia, but about EU’s fundamental rights, tolerance and equality. We may not turn a blind eye to religious organisations fuelling intolerance towards our very own EU citizens.”

“It is distasteful that after the Croatian referendum, we again face a referendum on eliminating the rights of fellow citizens. Such a process has no place in an enlightened continent like Europe.”

“After Social Democrats, supported by Christian Democrats, constitutionally banned possible future same-sex unions, Slovakia is on a slippery slope. I urge the Slovak people to stand up for the rights of their compatriots.”