The Macedonian Assembly has approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
The governing conservatives began the process to amend the constitution today, following their April election victory, which netted enough seats to secure a two-thirds majority vote.
The amendment would define marriage as exclusively a heterosexual union, between one man and one woman.
Government spokesperson Aleksandar Gjorgjiev, of the VMRO-DPMNE party, said: “The constitutional protection and the clear defining of marriage will allow further protection of children and affirmation of their upbringing in a family atmosphere in which the main pillars are the parents, the father and mother.”
He claimed: “Our system discriminates against no-one. Homosexuals stigmatise themselves and think they are in an underprivileged position.
“In general, I support the pluralism of life styles of the subculture groups – this is one of the cornerstones of today’s society.”