Slovenia heads to the polls in bid to block same-sex marriage
Voters in Slovenia are heading to the polls today – in a bid to reinforce a ban on same-sex marriage.
The Central European country’s Parliament passed a bill to legalise same-sex marriage earlier this year, to outcry from parts of the Slovenian public.
A referendum was forced after campaigners against the law gathered 80,00 signatures – and it threatens to bring the whole measure crashing down if the public vote against equality.
Today marks the main day of voting in the referendum, with a preliminary result expected by 7 PM this evening.
Those against the implementation of the equality law have used the outdated argument that children need a mother and a father, and that children do worse if they have same-sex parents.
Should Slovenia opt to approve the same-sex marriage law it would become the first Slavic, Central European and post-Communist nation to do so. It would also be only the second country to pass equal marriage through popular vote, following Ireland.
Campaigners on both sides of the argument have been urging voters to make their voice heard.
Recent polls have shown a small majority of Slovenians support the right of same-sex couples to marry – but given uncertain turnout, the result might be unpredictable.
The law has been backed by President Borut Pahor.
The Vice President of the European Commission recently said he wants all 28 EU countries to recognise or legalise same-sex marriage.
Speaking at an Equality Gala in Brussels hosted by ILGA-Europe, Dutch politician Frans Timmermans said the ultimate goal was to get all states to “unreservedly” embrace equality.