The Czech Republic is on the verge of becoming the first post-Soviet country to legalize same-sex marriage.
On Wednesday (31 October) the Chamber of Deputies is likely to vote in favor of amendments to the Civil Code. The amendments will make it legal for same-sex couples to marry.
All major parties across the political spectrum support the bill as does most of the Czech population. Thanks to an ongoing national campaign by LGBTI organization, We Are Fair (Jsme fér), 67% of people in the country believe same-sex couples should be able to get married.
The Czech Republic has recognized civil partnerships since 2006. But full marriage equality does not exist in the eastern European country.
‘The Czechs have always been the most progressive and open towards the LGBTI-community from the Eastern Bloc,’ said Rémy Bonny, a political scientist who specializes in LGBTI politics in Eastern Europe.
‘The bigger cities like Prague and Brno have a very vibrant and lively LGBT-scene and Pride marches attract tens of thousands of participants.’
We Are Fair expects tomorrow’s debate to be ‘lively’. The proposed amendments are placed third on the agenda for discussion at the 20th meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.
If the amendments are successful they would still have to pass in the Senate before becoming law. But Bonny is confident that will happen.
He said the Czech Republic has an opportunity to influence other countries in the region.
‘The LGBT-community in Central & Eastern Europe hopes this will create a snowball effect in their countries as well,’ he said.
‘Opinion polls show that the population in the Eastern European member states of the EU became much more progressive towards the LGBT-community in the last decade.
‘Even in conservative countries like Poland and Hungary a majority of citizens is in favour of equality for the LGBT-community.’