President Miloš Zeman said he would veto a bill that would allow same-sex couples in the Czech Republic to marry after the lower house of parliament received a bill amending the Civil Code to that effect.
People of the same sex may soon be allowed to marry in the Czech Republic according to the bill amending the Civil Code the lower house of parliament received on Tuesday (7 June).
The draft was signed by one representative from five deputy groups, namely Mayors and Independents (STAN), TOP 09, the Pirates, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and ANO.
As expected, the motion was not supported by Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and the right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), though parties generally allow their MPs a free vote on such matters.
President Milos Zeman sought to put a spanner in the works when he said on 8 June that he would veto the law if it was passed by parliament.
But Zeman, known for his controversial comments about the LGBT community, is unlikely to be able to prevent the law from being enacted if it enjoys strong parliamentary support.
Under the amendment before the lower house, people of the same sex would have the same rights in marriage as a woman and a man, and registered partnerships would virtually disappear as an institution.
Same-sex spouses would have the same rights and obligations as opposite-sex spouses under the draft. This includes, for example, the entitlement to widow’s and widower’s pensions, rights, and obligations concerning the children they raise and access to family care.
Last December an amendment failed to pass the Senate, the upper house, which would have forced Czech courts to recognise adoptions of children abroad by same-sex couples.
Currently, local courts recognise foreign adoptions by Czech citizens as long as it “would be permissible under the substantive provisions of the Czech law”. The failed motion in the Senate last year and the latest amendment put to the Chamber of Deputies seek to remove this conditionality. It also applies in some instances to unmarried opposite-sex couples.
In December, the European Court of Justice ruled that parental rights must be recognised in all EU member states without distinction, which includes same-sex couples who adopt abroad.