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Slovenia to put gay marriage to popular vote in December

Slovenia to put gay marriage to popular vote in December

Slovenians will go to the polls on 20 December to decide whether to implement gay marriage legislation in the central European country.

The 90-seat parliament Wednesday (4 November) voted 60 to 11 in support of the referendum, with three abstentions.

In March, lawmakers passed a bill that redefined marriage as ‘a union between two consenting adults,’ but opponents – backed by the Catholic Church – quickly filed a petition calling for the law to be repealed and the issue ended up in court.

The constitutional court gave the green light for the referendum last month.

Lawmakers had tried to prevent the issue from coming to a popular vote, claiming it was unconstitutional as marriage is a basic right.

But Slovenian law allows any group that gathers 40,000 signatures within a month to force a referendum on new legislation.

If more than 20% of the electorate turns out and a majority vote against it, the law will be scrapped and the issue will most likely returns to the courts.

In 2012, a referendum was held on a new Family Code that would have allowed gay adoption, but it voted down by 54.5%.