Slovenians reject equal marriage in referendum
Slovenians have voted against same-sex marriage in a referendum.
Voters in Slovenia headed 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.
With nearly alll of the 620,261 votes now counted, the country has recorded 225,428
Yes votes (36.5%) in favour of equal marriage, and 391,818 No votes (63.5%) opposed.
A preliminary estimate of turnout suggests that 36% of eligible voters made it to the polls.
Due to the turnout, campaigners had hoped that the opposition to equal marriage would not pass the threshold of 20% of the total electorate needed to block the law, but the result now appears to be decisive.
Those against the implementation of the equality law have used the outdated argument that children need a mother and a father, and that children do worse if they have same-sex parents.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.
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.