Slovenia has become the first central European country to legalize gay marriage.
Parliament Tuesday (3 February) extended all marriage rights, including adoption, to gay couples by a vote of 51 to 28, with five absentations.
United Left MP Matej Vatovec said parliamentary support ensured Slovenia would become a ‘truly tolerant and inclusive community.’
‘Today Slovenia is entering the 21st century,’ he said.
Vatovec introduced the bill with the support of the major party in the ruling coalition. But center-right parties opposed the measure, saying it would undermine traditional family values.
Earlier that day, 2,000 people gathered outside parliament to protest the bill and said they would launch a petition for a referendum to prevent its implementation.
A referendum can be called if the petition collects 40,000 signatures.