Homophobic referendum Slovakia fails over low turnout

Monday, 9 February 2015

Last Saturday, Slovakians were called to vote in a referendum aiming to limit the rights of same-sex couples by enhancing the ban on same-sex marriage, prohibiting same-sex couples to adopt or raise a family, and imposing limits on sexuality education.

Slovak flagOnly  a fifth(21,4%) of the eligible voters went to vote, far below the 50 percent treshold necessary for it to be binding.

LGBTI human rights defenders had urged people to boycott the referendum.

The vote was the result of a citizen’s initiative initiated by an organisation called Alliance for Family, which managed to get 400 000 signatures.

In 2013 a similar referendum in Croatia managed to secure enough support.

Slovakia does not legally recognize relationships between same-sex partners. In 2014, the constitution was already amended to define marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. 

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “I am delighted that this referendum has failed so clearly.”

“When even banners with the Pope’s picture cannot bring the Slovak people to go to vote, it seems that in great majority the Slovak people have realised the homophobic propaganda by the organisors was really nothing but propaganda.”

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “The clear rejection of this referendum now opens the opportunity to move ahead on LGBTI rights.”

“The campaign running up to the referendum has shown that homophia is still a large problem. I urge the Slovak government to demonstrate true leadership and commitment to European values, and start working on a strategy for the protection of human rights for all.”

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