Czech lower house could act on same-sex marriage this week

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said the bill would move forward in September, but lower house Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová will push for it this week. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 31.05.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 30.05.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Same-sex marriage is moving closer to reality in Czechia. Markéta Pekarová Adamová, the speaker of the Czech lower house, says the bill to allow it could hopefully get a first reading this week, which is a key step in getting the bill passed. She says that there is enough support to move the bill forward quickly if opposition parties don’t obstruct it.

Earlier yesterday, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said the law enabling same-sex marriage would be firmly included as a point of discussion in September. "We support this proposal; we feel the appeal of society. But we don't just want to discuss it, we want to approve it," Rakušan said. He was concerned that there was not enough support for it now.

On Twitter, Pekarová Adamová (Pirates) said that TOP 09 would support the proposal with a large majority and that ANO members of parliament would finally have to reveal where they stand.

Deputy Speaker Olga Richterová (Pirates) previously said the draft law needs to not only be discussed but also approved during a previous meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament. She also expressed concern about insufficient support.

“We live in a country where most people support marriage for all," Richterová told Czech Radio at the end of last year. She added at that, time that despite people’s favorable attitude, the passage of marriage equality in the lower house is not guaranteed.

Richterová said that in countries where there is marriage for all, the suicide rate of teenagers who belong to the LGBT+ community has decreased significantly.

This week, the lower house is already set to discuss an amendment to the Act on Registers allowing same-sex couples to enter into a registered partnership at any registry office. Partnerships can now be concluded at 14 selected registry offices.

Lower house deputy (MP) Jiří Navrátil (KDU-ČSL), who is openly gay, proposed this change. He said expanding the number of places where people can enter into partnerships is a step toward equalizing the rights of sexual minorities, but it is not the same as marriage.

Navrátil also says he dislikes the term registered partnership and would like to see that change as well. "In the Czech Republic, we register cars and have registration plates, but we should not register people," Navrátil told news server Seznam Zprávy.

His party, the Christian Democrats, takes a conservative stance on the issue and defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Navrátil said he is looking for some form of compromise on same-sex marriage so the Christian Democrats can support an amendment.

"We are looking for a way that would allow us to pass the law," he told news server iDnes before Pekarová Adamová announced that the bill would be discussed this week, instead of in September.

Deputy Jana Pastuchová (ANO) is in favor of LGBTQ+ equality and of a proposal that would allow same-sex marriage. She has been pushing to get the proposal on the lower house agenda and tried unsuccessfully to have it discussed last week. She had vowed to get it on every lower house agenda until it was finally discussed.

She said that the attitude among members of ANO is evenly split. She also told Czech Radio that more of her colleagues would be in favor of allowing same-sex couples to have the same benefits as married couples if the word "marriage" wasn’t used.  

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