Will same-sex marriage come to the Czech Republic? The first step in the process could go either way.
According to Reuters, the Lower House in Czech Republic’s Parliament supported marriage equality in an initial reading on Thursday, April 29. A new bill is in the works that would amend the country’s Civil Code to say marriage is a union between “two persons” instead of “a man and a woman.” The initial reading of the bill ended favorably. Part of that is due to conservative lawmakers lacking numbers. Opponents to the bill lacked six votes among the 93 politicians present.
That said, there is still some concern as a counter bill is also in the works. That bill seeks to protect the “man and woman” definition. The counter bill also appeared during Thursday’s session and made it through the initial vote.
Legislation over marriage equality in the Czech Republic has been in the works for three years now, according to The Times. Due to its divisive nature within the Parliament, not much progress has been made in those years. That said, the country has allowed civil partnerships since 2006. The problem, though, is that partnerships do not give equal legal rights like joint child adoptions or property rights.
Despite the promising start to this marriage equality bill, the clock is running out for the bill. The reason being, the Czech Republic is gearing up for a general election in October. Some of the bill’s supporters could lose their office seats before the bill gets passed.
For now, the bill needs to pass through the lower body officially before getting to the Senate. Then it has to pass at the Senate before being signed by the president into law. Can the bill make it to the finish line before October 8th?