Slovakia voting in referendum to ban same-sex marriage and adoption
Slovakia is going to the polls today on measures that would reinforce bans on same-sex adoption and same-sex marriage.
The central European country is asking voters to approve measures that would define marriage as between one man and one woman, ban same-sex adoption, and block schools from teaching sex education classes if parents object.
Due to the wording of the referendum, the only choices are either adopting new anti-gay measures or not. Even if a majority of voters oppose imposing a further ban, same-sex marriage and adoption would still not be allowed in the country.
Despite claims that he has softened the Church’s stance on homosexuality, the Pope has openly praised the measures – with Slovak church groups seizing on this to urge people to vote yes.
He said: “I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak Church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defence of the family, the vital cell of society.”
Because the referendum requires a turnout of 50 percent to be constitutionally binding, a number of equality groups are encouraging people to boycott the poll entirely, rather than turn out to vote against.
Barbora Cernusakova of Amnesty International said: “This referendum could lead to a significant step back for Slovakia.
“If the public says yes to these questions and they’re adopted into law, Slovakia bolsters homophobic discrimination and undermines sexuality education
“If this restrictive definition is reinforced by the referendum, it will be more difficult to overturn. It will cement the already conservative status quo and make it hard for any progressive legislation in this field in the country in the near future.”