Why this story matters:
A significant shift in the perception of LGBT rights has occurred in recent days. Andrej Kiska is the first Slovak president who officially invited LGBT activists to a meeting. Then he expressed his will to support the new legislation that would grant same-sex couples legal protection.
Slovakia is one of the last EU countries to provide legal protection for same-sex couples -- neither in the form of civil unions, nor marriages.
The biggest and the most memorable debate on LGBT rights took place at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Conservatives initiated a referendum on same-sex marriages and the possibility of adoption for same-sex couples. The conservative and religious activists held a huge campaign, which wrecked many relations between friends, family members and colleagues.
In this referendum, the president voted against same-sex marriages and adoptions for LGBT people. Now, he is opening a debate on LGBT rights on his own. He calls for a calm and reasonable discussion, which should end with a new legislation.
According to the survey agency Focus, in 2015, more than 50% of Slovaks agreed to some kind of partnership for same-sex couples. About 35% were against it. In the same year, 24% Slovaks believed that same-sex marriage should be allowed in Europe, according to the Eurobarometer.
Details from the story:
- Slovakia is one of five EU countries that does not provide any legal protection for same-sex couples. The other countries are: Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
- Andrej Kiska is the first Slovak president who officially invited LGBT activists for a meeting.
- Activists have been asking for a meeting with long-term Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, for years, but he is not interested.
- The issue of same-sex partnerships is taboo for Slovak politicians. No political party present in the parliament (not even the opposition ones) supports same-sex marriages.