PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC — (11-05-18) — The lower house of the Czech Parliament is now debating a new bill that could allow same-sex couples the right to marry.

The draft of the bill is supported by Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his Coalition center-left government. The Czech Republic is on the verge of joining several other members of the European Union who have legalized same-sex marriage.

In fact the Czech Republic could make history by becoming the first post-Communist member of the European Union to legalize same-sex marriage.

In 2006, the Czech Parliament approved a law allowing same-sex partners to live in an officially register as domestic partners This allowed for LGBTQ couples to have rights to inheritance and health care similar to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That law, however, does not allow same-sex partners to marry and to adopt children as a couple.

According to S4C News, Prime Minister Babis decided to support the proposal that will lead the way to gay-lesbian marriage. The marriage proposal was initially a joint submission presented by several parties: ANO, TOP 09, STAN, Pirate Party, Communists and Social Democrats.

If the parliament approves the amendment to the Family Law, the possibility of registering a same sex partnership will come to an end. Currently, registered partners have the right to get information about each other’s health, share ownership and inheritance but they cannot adopt a child. Over the last decade, the rights of those in ‘registered partnerships’ have been expanded but as yet their rights do not equate to those who are married. This situation will change with the adoption of the new amendment.

The majority of the Czech population agree with the proposal adopted by the government; a survey conducted in May shows that half of the population supports gay marriage, while forty-five per cent approves of the existing ‘registered partnership’ option.”

The bill allowing same-sex marriages would only need a simple majority in the two-hundred-seat house; the constitutional change would require one hundred and twenty votes.

If the bill continues to make progress, the Czech Republic could be on its way to finally recognizing LGBTQ civil rights.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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