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Slovenia will expand civil partnership rights after gay marriage defeated in referendum

Slovenia will expand civil partnership rights after gay marriage defeated in referendum

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar is giving his government’s support to a bill to expand the rights of same-sex couples so that they are equal to married couples in all areas except for the right to adopt and to access invitro fertilization technologies.

The bill has been put forward by Jani Moderndorfer, a member of Cerar’s Modern Centre Party, after a 20 December referendum promoted by the Catholic Church struck down an equal marriage law that had been passed by lawmakers.

Moderndorfer introduced his bill two days after the referendum and the Government has now signaled its support for the bill.

Slovenia has had some kind of civil partnerships for same-sex couples since 2005 but with rights and obligations between the parties much less than married couples.

Moderndorfer hopes his bill can correct that and offer a solution to same-sex couples until the parliament can pass another equal marriage law.

A majority of Slovenians opposed the referendum, which was forced on the government after opponents collected nearly 50,000 signatures.

Lawmakers voted to prevent it but opponents then took the issue to Slovenia’s Constitutional Court which ruled the referendum must be held.

As more than 20% of registered voters voted to repeal the equal marriage law, the referendum was a success but many Slovenians did not take part in the poll at all.