Czech MPs debate same-sex marriage, vote possible in January

The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday debated two proposals on legalising same-sex marriages – one for and the other against – but a possible vote is not likely until January.

Backing an amendment to the Civil Code granting homosexuals the same marital rights as heterosexuals, including the possibility to adopt children, were 46 MPs.

They included members of the governing ANO and Social Democrat parties, as well as the opposition Party of Mayors and the Pirates.

The Christian Democrats spearheaded a measure to preserve the status quo, that is to allow same-sex couples only to have registered partnerships. At last count, 37 MPs had committed to backing it.

Close to 3,000 gay and lesbian couples are now living in registered partnerships in the Czech Republic thanks to a law approved in 2006 after years of stormy debate in the lower house and vehement opposition from the Christian Democrats.

Registered partners do not have the same property and other rights as married couples. According to the group Jsme fér (We Are Fair), two-thirds of Czechs favour legalising same-sex marriage.

Author: Brian Kenety