Minister Says Macedonia Will Defend Traditional Marriage

01/06/2012
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Original source: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/a...ter-stands-against-same-sex-marriage

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Macedonian Social Affairs Minister Spiro Ristovski says he will do “everything” to keep the legal provision defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“As a government and political party it is important to us that in Macedonia, according to our cultural and traditional beliefs and way of life, the family and marriage are treated as a union between one man and one woman," Minister Ristovski said Thursday.

Ristovski, a member of the main ruling centre-right VMRO DPMNE party, said that his ministry would do “everything” it could to keep it this way.

The minister’s remarks come after the Macedonian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in mid-May filed an initiative before the Constitutional Court to reassess a provision in the Marriage Law regulating “close personal relations” as “personal relations between people of different sexes”.

“This provision is discriminatory because it deprives same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights before the law as heterosexual couples,” says university professor Ana Martinoska who supports the initiative.

She voiced concern about “open homophobia” in some media outlets and criticised their “deliberate” attempts to spin the essence of the initiative as an outright call for the introduction of gay marriage.

The Constitutional Court has yet to decide on the submission.

“We have asked for opinions from the government, parliament and the Ministry of Social Affairs, after which the court will decide whether to start a procedure,” Jugoslav Milenkovic, the court’s spokesperson, said.

Macedonia's 2010 Anti-Discrimination law has been criticised by human rights watchdogs and European institutions for failing to include provisions for the protection of lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people.

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