Slovenians vote against marriage equality

Yesterday, Slovenians voted in a referendum against an amendment which would have given same-sex couples the right to get married.

SloveniaAlthough 63.5 percent voted “No”, turnout was low at 36 percent.

In March 2015, the Slovene Parliament agreed to redefine marriage as “between two people” instead of “between a man and a woman.”

However, a Church-led citizen’s initiative, called ‘for children’, appealed the decision, calling for a referendum to repeal the amendment.

Although family law, including marriage, remains the exclusive competence of Member States, Members of the European Parliament regret the referendum, which was initiated to withhold equal rights.

Tanja Fajon, Slovenian MEP and Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “It is shameful that a little more than 20 percent of the electorate has been able to block an amendment which does nothing more than giving people the rights that they should have had already long ago.”

“I am confident, though, that we can work to fight legal discrimination against LGBTI Slovenians, building on the strong parliamentary support for full equality.”

Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Equal marriage will come, sooner or later. We easily forget that equal marriage was adopted in the Netherlands just fourteen years ago. The rest of the world thought we were crazy. Today 12 EU Member States have equal marriage, and 22 countries worldwide.”

“Last month, we celebrated Cyprus joining the growing list of countries legally recognising same-sex couples via registered partnership. Equal marriage will one day exist throughout the EU. And the EU will be a happier place for it!”