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Poland rejects civil unions for the fourth time

By Will Stroude

Poland has rejected a bill that would have regulated civil unions, both homosexual and heterosexual.

The Sejm lower parliamentary house voted against even debating the bill on Tuesday, Radio Poland reports.


Originally submitted in 2013 as a way of formalising relationships between both gay and heterosexual couples, the proposed law was intended to introduce the prospect of joint payment of income tax, the right to inheritance as well as social security benfits in the event of one of the partner’s deaths.

However, the bill will be shelved for the foreseeable future after 215 MPs voted against even discussing it. 146 MPs voted for the bill, with 24 abstaining and 75 not voting at all.

The vote marks the fourth time Poland has voted against a piece of legislation related to civil unions for same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage is already banned under Article 18 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

Despite the bill being delayed, Wincenty Elsner from the Democratic Left Alliance – which proposed it – said that the party would submit a motion on its discussion in the next parliament following October’s elections.

The vote come just days after Ireland voted overwhelming to introduce equal marriage in the world’s first national referendum on the issue, and Greenland’s parliament voted unanimously in favour of it, becoming the world’s 25th country to achieve marriage equality.

Of this week’s events in Poland, said head of the Campaign Against Homophobia, Agata Chaber, said:“We are lied to by politicians – mostly conservative – who say that Poland is not ready for civil partnerships, let alone [same-sex] marriage.

“That is a lie, Poland is ready.”

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