Slovakia’s Homophobic Referendum Set for February 2015
Opposition is rising to Slovakia’s upcoming referendum that essentially victimises same sex couples, asking several questions aimed at denying them certain basic fundamental rights.
The referendum, initiated by the so-called Alliance for Family with a petition of some 400,000 signatures, was initially to put four questions to the public, but one was ruled unconstitutional. The three remaining questions are apparently constitutional in Slovakia, namely – whether same sex couples should be prohibited from adopting and bringing up kids, whether marriage should be exclusively a union of one man and one woman, and whether parents should be able to prevent their children from taking part in lessons on sexual behaviour and euthanasia in schools.
President Andrej Kiska had to decide whether or not to allow the referendum, which he did, minus one question. He announced yesterday that the referendum, homophobic as it is, would go ahead on 7 February 2015. Slovakia’s homophobic referendum will cost over EUR 5 million according to the Interior Ministry.
An expensive show and the Alliance for Family has already announced it would declare another referendum if this one failed, following a three year obligatory interval. Pravda daily cites the alliance’s spokesman, Anton Chromik, as saying the issue “would be just as topical in three years time as it was a hundred or a thousand years ago”. Maybe there lies the problem.
Czech activist Jiri Hromada told the daily that Slovakia is still fighting against minorities, underlining how the Czech Republic has accepted gay marriages since 2006. The whole issue points to the majority voting against the minority and that can set a dangerous precedent, says Romana Schlesinger from the civil association Queer Leaders Forum.
Schlesinger told Pravda that the fact that the questions concern “issues of human rights, like the right to a family, in itself depicts the absurdity of the situation”. She pointed out that referendums are not supposed to deal with depriving people of human rights.