Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels
The Czech Republic could become the first in the Eastern Bloc to achieve same-sex marriage after MPs passed a new equality law.
The new bill was passed in the lower house yesterday (Thursday 29 April 2021) after being introduced to parliament three years ago delayed by opponents.
Same-sex couples in the the Czech Republic have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2006. However, the partnerships do not offer full equality on matters such as rights to property and adoption.
The new bill would amend the Civil Code to say marriage is between "two persons", instead of "a man and a woman", according to Reuters.
"History in the making!"
Same-sex marriage campaigner Czeslaw Walek commented on Twitter: "Yessssss history in making! The Czech Parliament just voted for marriage equality.
"That means that the bill can be discussed in committees! The fight goes on!"
The final vote could be affected by an upcoming general election, which takes place on 8 and 9 October 2021.
Some Eastern Bloc countries have seen rising rates of homophobia in recent years, including Hungary and the Czech Republic-bordering Poland, which has seen the spread of so-called 'LGBT-free zones'.
According to The Times, Czech politician Marek Benda has since spoken out against marriage equality, saying: "We don’t have to try every stupidity the West does. I will not vote for the next step in the cultural revolution.”
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