European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Second same-sex partnership law in post-communist Europe!

Yesterday Czech parliamentarians adopted same-sex partnerships law and the Czech Republic became the second post-communist country in Europe to legally recognise lesbian and gay families. Last year Slovenia became the first post-communist country to legally recognise same-sex partnerships.

Same-sex partnership legislation in the Czech Republic has a long parliamentary history and there were several attempts to get it through. Only last December the law was approved by the parliamentarians. However Vaclav Klaus, the President of the

Czech Republic vetoed the law at the beginning of this year and it was then returned to the parliament. Yesterday the partnerships legislation gained the necessary parliamentary majority to overturn the presidential veto.

ILGA-Europe salutes the Czech parliamentarians, the Czech Prime Minister, the Czech activists and the Czech society for their support and determination to grant same-sex families equal dignity and respect.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

We are very glad to see the Czech Republic joining a family of the European nations legally recognising same-sex partnerships. This is yet another significant step towards building Europe as a continent free from discrimination - equal and inclusive for all its citizens.

The Czech society has demonstrated that discrimination does not have a place in contemporary society. This new legislation also sends a strong message that the totalitarian and communist past is not an obstacle for building a country respecting and valuing all its citizens.

We believe the Czech example will help other post-communist countries to overcome prejudice towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and demystify the myth that LGBT rights are ‘decadent’ Western values.”

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For more information please contact

Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) Details of other European countries legally recognising same-sex families are available on our website: www.ilga-europe.org/europe/issues/marriage_and_partnership