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Czech Parliament Overrides Veto on Same-Sex Partnership Bill

The Czech Republic became the first former communist country in Europe to grant legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, European media reported Wednesday.
( [email protected] ) Mar 17, 2006 09:01 AM EST

The Czech Republic became the first former communist country in Europe to grant legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, European media reported Wednesday.


The vote, according to news agencies, was passed in parliament by the absolute minimum needed to overturn a veto by President Vaclav Klaus. Out of the 177 lawmakers present from the 200-seat parliament, 101 backed the same-sex law. It was the fifth attempt at approving the controversial legislation.

In a statement released after the vote, Klaus said the result was not a personal defeat but rather "a defeat for all of us who believe that the family in our society is fundamental, unique, unrivalled,” according to BBC.

The president had imposed a veto on the legislation last month after the lower house of parliament approved it in December and the Senate approved it in January. Klaus said his opposition to the bill was motivated by liberal as well as conservative reasons.

"I protest against any speculations that I don't support or downplay the importance of the removal of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation," the Prague Daily Monitor reported the president as saying.

Following Klaus’s veto, the bill was returned to the Chamber of Deputies where its supporters needed 101 votes out of the house's 200 MPs to override the president's decision.

According to the Monitor, the legislation ensures access for registered partners to information on the health condition of their partners and a chance to inherit property just as married couples have. It also counts with the mutual obligation to pay maintenance and allows the homosexual partners to raise children, though it does not allow them to adopt them.