Equality group hits back as MPs seek to block same-sex marriage
A cross-party group of 54 MPs this week submitted a bill that would enshrine marriage in Czech law as solely being a union between a man and a woman. The marriage equality group We Are Fair have come out strongly against the move, asking on social media “is Czechia heading East?” I spoke to its spokesperson, Filip Milde.
“The adoption of this constitutional law means a ban on the marriage of gay and lesbian couples – that’s pretty much their intention.
“Because this unnecessary constitutional amendment would significantly worsen the position and lives of hundreds of thousands of LGBT people.”
I didn’t see this move reported in the news, I only saw it on your social media. Was the submission of this bill done, in a way, on the quiet?
“Yes, we can speculate that it was just introduced quietly, there was no press conference of the group of legislators that introduced it.
“A few media picked it up, but from the reaction on social media, just our Twitter post was viewed by over a quarter of a million people from yesterday.
“People’s reactions were very, very angry over this unnecessary step.
“We can speculate about why the legislators are not coming forward with this more, but even from the reactions of people who are in support of this constitutional change, they say it’s simply a counter-reaction to the introduction of a marriage equality bill in June.
“So this bill wouldn’t have been introduced, they say, if the marriage equality bill wasn’t introduced.”
Is this move really surprising, though? If you look at the Czech government, Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Civic Democrats [not among the submitters of the amendment] said before the last election that he regarded marriage as being between a man and a woman. Also in government are the Christian Democrats, who of course have those kind of conservative social policies. There are a lot of social conservatives in Czech politics.
“The step is not so surprising, because a lot of legislators were announcing it, mainly those from the Christian Democrat Party.”
How do you analyse this? Do you think this bill could actually become law?
“Well, there is always a chance – we don’t see in a crystal ball.
“That’s also what we are here for, to inform people that this is happening, because it’s obvious that the legislators didn’t want to attract too much attention to the bill.
“And it’s actually quite unfortunate, because we are leading the European Union presidency at this time.
“Ninety-five percent of EU countries have marriage equality – and suddenly the country that is leading the EU presidency is introducing constitutional change.
“Three-fifths of all the members in Parliament are needed for this bill to be passed, so that’s 120 votes.
“That’s quite unlikely, but it’s possible.”