Czech theatre companies pen open letter to PM Fiala pushing for marriage equality

Divadlo Husa na provázku / The Goose on a String theatre in Brno

Just one month after private firms such as Vodafone and Skoda wrote an open letter to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala calling for marriage equality, Czech theatres across the country followed suit. The Goose on a String theatre in Brno, is one of the participating art institutions. I spoke with Martin Sládeček, Artistic Director of the theatre, about why it was important to take a stand on this issue.

Martin Sládeček | Photo: Czech Television

“In our country, there is vast support amongst men and women throughout the regions for equal marriage. But our politicians still somehow look past this when it comes to the matter. We had the urge to call on our prime minister and the Czech government to pay attention to public opinion and to support equal marriage for all couples. Through this letter, we’ve tried to tell them that they need to pay attention to this issue.”

Private firms such as Vodafone also recently wrote open letters to the Fiala government pushing for marriage equality, but what impact do you think the arts can have on pressuring the government on this issue?

“There are so many LGBTQ+ people working in the cultural spheres who do fantastic work for the arts all across the Czech Republic. We think we should stand up for them, and that we should give them a voice. Art has always been connected to politics, and the Goose on a String theatre understands this mission and actively thinks about the groups of people who are not adequately represented in the public arena. We think it’s our duty to fight for civil rights and for civil culture within our society.”

Of course, the goal of writing the open letter would be to achieve marriage equality for all, but what else do you hope to achieve by starting this conversation?

Photo: GDJ,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

“There are so many politicians, maybe they will read this letter and change their minds. I’m not sure if that will happen, but I think it’s very important to send this message to all of our LGBTQ+ colleagues and to the public. We think it’s important to bring this positive energy and supportive words to the public arena. There are so many people who are doing the opposite and promoting hatred, and this is something we don’t want to support. It was important for us to bring our support and words of encouragement.”

Since 2006, registered partnerships have been legal in Czechia between same sex couples. However, registered partnerships do not allow for property to be inherited or for the adoption of children, and only one parent can be recognized as the ‘legal parent’ of the child.