Slovenia’s Parliament has in a groundbreaking move debated same-sex marriage, despite gay and lesbian couples being banned from tying the knot there.

The country was hailed by the ILGA Europe LGBT network for the debate which took place on Tuesday.

During the debate was discussed amendments to the Marriage and Family Act, whcih could possibly make marriage gender-neutral.

Currently marriage is defined as specifically between one man and one woman in Slovenian law.

The discussion took place at the committee on labour, family, social affairs and people with disability.

The committee voted 11 to 2 for the changes to the Marriage and Family Relations Act.

“This is an infinitely practical suggestion; it proposes treating all couples with dignity and respect. Such a move would signal that Slovenia values its same-sex couples just as much as its heterosexual citizens; based on basic equality principles and common sense” said Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director.

A new Family Code which extended rights and protections currently enjoyed by married heterosexual couples to same-sex unions in Slovenia was previously approved by the parliament in 2011. However, that law was rejected by a narrow margin in a referendum held the following year.