Large global corporations call on Czech PM to accept same-sex marriage

In a planned open letter to the Czech government, chief executives of the companies will highlight the benefits of same-sex marriage for the economy. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.08.2023 10:54:00 (updated on 30.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Major corporations operating in Czechia such as Vodafone, Microsoft, Danone, ČSOB, and Ikea are calling upon Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples. They intend to send an open letter to the government to expand LGBTQ+ rights on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Several firms joining the cause

A host of domestic employers spanning the banking and technology sectors have already affixed their signatures to this call. Spearheaded by Vodafone's CEO, Petr Dvořák, the initiative aims to eliminate legislative disparities and double standards present in Czech laws. Dvořák emphasized, "Supporting LGBTQ+ people is a human rights issue for us at Vodafone."

The economic implications of unequal treatment are pivotal to the cause, and signatories argue that these disparities adversely impact the Czech economy. Citing research from Open For Business, a coalition advocating LGBTQ+ inclusion, the unequal status of LGBTQ+ individuals incurs an annual cost of up to CZK 37.6 billion to the economy.


  • A 2020 poll found that 67 percent of Czechs believed homosexuals should have the right to get married.
  • A 2021 report found that Czechia ranked 32nd out of 49 European countries in their annual review of LGBTQ+ human rights.
  • Same-sex partnerships should not be discussed according to 44 percent of men in Czechia, according to a 2022 study.
  • Sources: Euronews, Rainbow Europe, and NMS Market Research.

Notably, this isn't the first time corporations have voiced opinions on LGBTQ+ rights. In 2005, Microsoft reversed its neutral stance on same-sex marriage following public outcry, underlining the evolving corporate stance on such matters.

This collective stance will culminate in a joint press conference next week to formally approach Fiala. The fact that renowned corporations are championing this issue reflects its increasing resonance in society.

Various Czech companies have prominently displayed their commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion on their websites. Ikea, for instance, emphasizes its aspiration to provide a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community, stressing the importance of acceptance and belonging.

Good for people and the economy

Moreover, the companies contend that legislative inequalities shift a burden onto employers, who are required to address societal imbalances. A diverse and inclusive work environment is not just socially responsible but also attracts top-tier talent, the large organizations say. 

Presently, Czech politicians are debating the recognition of same-sex partnerships, with the government adopting a neutral stance. Czechia is in the process of legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples; although LGBTQ+ people can already enter into registered partnerships, they are not able to adopt children.

The coming months promise significant developments on this front, with the People's Amendment to the Act on Registered Partnerships poised for parliamentary discussion and proposals regarding marriage equality also on the horizon. As the debate unfolds, the collective stance of these corporate giants underscores the evolving nature of societal and legal attitudes toward LGBTQ+ rights in the Czech Republic.

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