Poland has rejected civil unions for gay couples for the fourth time.
The parliament voted to table the discussion of the proposed law which would allow same-sex couples to have similar rights to opposite-sex married couples.
Less than a third of MPs, 146, voted for the discussion, with 215 voting against. 24 abstained and 75 refused to vote at all.
‘We are lied to by politicians – mostly conservative – who say that Poland is not ready for civil partnerships, let alone same-sex marriage,’ Agata Chaber, the head of Campaign Against Homophobia, has said.
‘That is a lie, Poland is ready.’
In January 2013, a draft bill for same-sex civil partnerships was thrown out by just 17 votes.
The bill includes a range of benefits which currently are only granted to married heterosexual couples, including protections and responsibilities, inheritance, pension funds, notary, and medical rights. Joint tax benefits and adoption rights are not included in the bill.
Currently there is no legal recognition of same-sex couples in Poland.
Article 18 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland (1997) defines ‘marriage’ as a union of a man and a woman.