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Recognition of same-sex unions in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic offers registered partnerships (Czech: registrované partnerství) for same-sex couples. Registered partnerships grant several rights of marriage, including inheritance, right to declare a same-sex partner as next of kin, hospital visitation rights, jail and prison visitation rights, spousal privilege, and alimony rights, but do not allow joint adoption, widow's pension, or joint property rights. The registered partnership law was passed in March 2006 and went into effect on 1 July 2006.[1][2][3] The country also grants unregistered cohabitation status to "persons living in a common household" that gives couples inheritance and succession rights in housing.[4]

Registered partnershipsEdit

There had been several attempts to allow same-sex registered partnerships. In 1998, a registered partnership bill reached the Chamber of Deputies, but was defeated by two votes.[5] In 1999, the chamber voted against another bill.[6][7] In February 2001, the Government presented a third bill, which was rejected by Parliament in October 2001.[8][9][10]

On 11 February 2005, another bill was defeated by one vote. It was backed by 82 out of the 165 deputies present, most voting in favour being Social Democrats, Communists, Freedom Union members and some deputies from the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS).[11]

In April 2005, a new partnership bill passed its first reading in the chamber with 82 votes for and 9 against. On 16 December 2005, it passed its third reading with 86 votes for, 54 against, and 7 abstentions.[12]

16 December 2005 vote in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic[13]
Party Voted for Voted against Abstained Absent or excused
 G  Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) -
     Civic Democratic Party (ODS)
     Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM)
 G  Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU–ČSL) - -
 G  Freedom Union – Democratic Union (US–DEU) -
     Independents - - -
Total 86 54 7 53

On 26 January 2006, it was passed by the Senate (65 for, 14 against).[14][15]

On 16 February 2006, President Václav Klaus vetoed the bill.[16][17][18] In response, Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek said that he would seek a parliamentary majority (101 votes) in the lower chamber to override the veto and did so successfully on 15 March 2006 with the exact number of votes needed (101) out of 177 votes cast.[19][20][21][22]

15 March 2006 vote in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic[23]
Party Voted for Voted against Abstained Absent or excused
 G  Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD)
     Civic Democratic Party (ODS)
     Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM)
 G  Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU–ČSL) - -
 G  Freedom Union – Democratic Union (US–DEU) - -
     Independents - - -
Total 101 57 18 21

In September 2014, a group of deputies introduced a bill to allow stepchild adoption by same-sex couples.[24] In October 2014, the Government decided to not take a stance on the bill.[25] On 24 October 2016, the Government approved its own draft bill on the issue, and introduced it to Parliament on 8 November.[26][27][28][29][30] The bill was never brought to a vote.

There are a number of differences between registered partnerships and marriage. Registered partners do not have the same rights to shared property as married couples, and do not receive the same tax benefits. Registered partners do not have the right to a widow or widower's pension or other benefits and they do not have adoption rights.[31]

StatisticsEdit

By June 2009, 780 registered partnerships had been conducted in the Czech Republic.[32][33] By the end of 2010, that number was about 1,110, 66 of which had been annulled.[34] A large majority of these partnerships involved Czech citizens, though there were also several couples from the United States, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Azerbaijan and Canada.[35]

Number of registered partnerships in the Czech Republic[36]
Year Female couples Male couples Total
2006 58 177 235
2007 77 175 252
2008 68 160 228
2009 72 131 203
2010 51 144 195
2011 70 107 177
2012 78 128 206
2013 79 122 201
2014 85 148 233
2015 97 147 244
2016 140 196 336
2017 136 172 308
2018 152 147 299
Total 1,163 1,954 3,117

Between 2006 and 2017, Prague registered the most partnerships with 898, followed by Central Bohemia (302), South Moravia (301), Moravia-Silesia (241), Ústí nad Labem (226), Olomouc (136), Liberec (134), Plzeň (128), South Bohemia (94), Hradec Králové (88), Karlovy Vary (85), Pardubice (82), Zlín (57) and Vysočina (46).[37]

From July 2006 to the end of 2018, 3,117 registered partnerships had been performed in the country. Of these, 1,954 were between male couples and 1,163 were between female couples. During this period, 448 registered partnerships (15%) were annulled, far lower than the divorce rate of about 50%. In 2018, 299 couples entered into registered partnerships, and for the first time the number of female couples surpassed that of male couples; there were 152 female partnerships and 147 male partnerships.[38][39]

Same-sex marriageEdit

 
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Marriage
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

The Green Party and the Pirate Party expressed support for same-sex marriage in their 2017 electoral programs.[40][41]

Following the adoption of a same-sex marriage law by the German Bundestag, Zbyněk Stanjura, deputy of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), suggested that his party could agree to a free vote in Parliament.[42]

Before the October 2017 election, LGBT activists started a campaign called "We Are Fair" (Czech: Jsme fér) to achieve same-sex marriage within the next four years.[42][43] The campaign also asked all candidates for the Chamber of Deputies for their position on same-sex marriage. 82 of the 200 elected MPs (some MPs did not answer) are supportive of same-sex marriage: 38 (out of the 78) ANO 2011 MPs, 1 (out of the 25) ODS MPs, 18 (out of the 22) Pirate MPs, 5 (out of the 15) Communist MPs, 10 (out of the 15) Social Democrat MPs, 1 (out of the 10) Christian Democrat MPs, 4 (out of the 7) TOP 09 MPs and 5 (out of the 6) STAN MPs. No SPD MP supported legalising same-sex marriage.[44]

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš supports the legalisation of same-sex marriage.[45][46][47][48]

On 12 June 2018, a bill to legalise same-sex marriage, sponsored by 46 deputies, was introduced to the Chamber of Deputies.[49][50] In response, three days later, a group of 37 deputies proposed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.[51][52] The bill allowing same-sex marriage requires a simple majority in the Chamber of Deputies, whereas constitutional amendments require 120 votes. On 22 June 2018, the Government announced its support for the same-sex marriage bill.[53][54][55] The "We Are Fair" campaign presented 70,350 signatures in support of same-sex marriage to the Chamber of Deputies in late June.[56] The first reading of the same-sex marriage bill was scheduled for 31 October, but was delayed to 14 November.[57][58] As debate on both bills began, individual MPs spoke on both sides of the issue rather than split on party lines, indicative of a conscience vote.[59] A vote was expected in January 2019, but was then postponed to 26 March 2019;[60] however, no vote took place on 26 March and no new date has been announced.

On 10 January 2019, President Miloš Zeman stated that he might veto the bill legalising same-sex marriage, if it is passed by Parliament.[61][62] Such a veto would force a second vote on the law, with the support of 50% + 1 of deputies required to override the presidential veto and pass the law.

Public opinionEdit

In 2007, 36% of Czechs supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage, while 57% were opposed.[43]

A May 2017 opinion poll found a 52% majority in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.[42]

A Median poll, conducted in February 2018 (and published in April), found that 75% of Czechs supported the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 19% were opposed. 13% believed that legalising same-sex marriage would threaten opposite-sex marriages, and 8% believed it would threaten them personally. Additionally, 61% of Czechs were in support of same-sex adoptions, while 31% were opposed.[63][64]

In June 2019, according to a survey conducted between 4-14 May 2019 by CVVM, 75% of respondents supported registered partnerships with 20% opposed, 47% supported same-sex marriage with 48% opposed, and 60% supported stepchild adoption with 31% opposed.[65]

During the debate on the same-sex marriage bill's first reading, a poll indicated that 61% of Czechs supported same-sex marriage. Various Czech celebrities also expressed support, including tennis player Martina Navratilova, singers Bára Basiková, Aneta Langer and Dara Rolins, photographer Robert Vano, actresses Simona Stašová, Erika Stárková and Anna Geislerová, politician Ivan Bartoš, actors Daniel Bambas, Petr Vaněk and Hynek Čermák, opera singer Dagmar Peck, former Miss Czech Republic Michaela Salačová, and Michal Šmarda, Oto Teuber, Milan Kroupa and Martin Habáň, the mayors of Nové Město na Moravě, Nový Kostel, Jablonec nad Nisou and Březina, respectively.[66]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "No. 115/2006 Coll". zakonyprolidi.cz (in Czech).
  2. ^ "Nearly weds:Country's first same-sex unions". Prague Post.
  3. ^ "Gay marriage legalized". Radio Prague International. 3 July 2006.
  4. ^ Prague Archived 2015-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ CZECH REPUBLIC: NO MARRIAGES FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS
  6. ^ Gay-marriage bill is rejected
  7. ^ NO TO REGISTERED PARTNERSHIP IN CZECH REPUBLIC
  8. ^ Czech Gay Bill Drafted
  9. ^ Gay marriage not likely in Czech Republic
  10. ^ Equality for same-sex couples
  11. ^ Czech Gay and Lesbian League upset about repeated rejection of same sex partnerships
  12. ^ Czech MPs approve law on same-sex partnerships
  13. ^ "51. schůze, 933. hlasování, 16. prosince 2005, 10:26 (Návrh zákona o registrovaném partnerství)" (in Czech). 16 December 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  14. ^ Bill on single sex partnerships makes it through both houses of Parliament
  15. ^ Czech Gays Get Partner Rights
  16. ^ Czech Republic President Vetoes Gay Union Bill
  17. ^ Gay groups angered by president's veto of registered partnership bill
  18. ^ Czech President Vetoes Gay Partner Bill
  19. ^ Czech Parliament Overrides Veto, Passes Gay Partner Law
  20. ^ Czech MPs approve gay rights law
  21. ^ Czech Parliament Overrides Veto, Passes Gay Partner Law
  22. ^ Same-sex registered partnerships to be introduced after deputies override presidential veto
  23. ^ "54. schůze, 311. hlasování, 15. března 2006, 18:17 (Návrh zákona o registrovaném partnerství)" (in Czech). 15 March 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  24. ^ (in Czech) Sněmovní tisk 320 Novela z. o registrovaném partnerství
  25. ^ (in Czech) Vláda se neshodla na novele o adopci registrovanými partnery
  26. ^ (in Czech) Vláda schválila novelu zákona o NKÚ a novelu zákona o registrovaném partnerství
  27. ^ (in Czech) Vláda schválila novelu zákona o registrovaném partnerství v otázce osvojení dítěte
  28. ^ Government approves bill on adoption of biological children in same-sex couples
  29. ^ (in Czech) Vláda odsouhlasila osvojování dětí pro homosexuální páry. Má jim zjednodušit každodenní život
  30. ^ (in Czech) Sněmovní tisk 957 Novela z. o registrovaném partnerství
  31. ^ "Czech MPs Hold Historic Debate on Same Sex Marriage". expats.cz. 15 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Archive for Gay Life Statistics in Czech Republic". gaytoursprague.wordpres.com. 23 November 2009.
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  34. ^ (in Czech) Česko má 1111 registrovaných partnerství Archived 2011-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ "Registrované partnerství "slavilo"". gay.iniciativa.cz (in Czech).
  36. ^ "Registrovaná partnerství fungují přes 10 let. Kolik párů si řeklo ano, kolik rozvedlo". zpravy.aktualne.cz (in Czech). 11 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Kde je nejvíc registrovaných párů v Česku? Lesbičky hlásí rekord!". tn.nova.cz (in Czech). 23 January 2018.
  38. ^ "Dosud uzavřelo registrované partnerství 3117 párů. Po zrušení zákazu adopce roste zájem žen, loni poprvé překonaly muže". Hospodářské Noviny (in Czech). 1 February 2019.
  39. ^ "Zájem žven o registrované partnerství stoupá. Loni poprvé překonaly muže". deník.cz (in Czech). 1 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Manželství pro všechny". zeleni.cz.
  41. ^ "Nová Sněmovna má 82 férových poslanců". Jsme Fér.
  42. ^ a b c "Door Opens to Achieving Marriage Equality in Czech Republic". Human Rights Watch. 15 August 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Gays, lesbians launching campaign for marriage". Prague Daily Monitor. 3 July 2017.
  44. ^ "Známe férové poslankyně a poslance!". Jsme Fér (in Czech). 22 October 2017.
  45. ^ "Babiš podpořil sňatky homosexuálů". Novinky.cz (in Czech). 7 April 2019.
  46. ^ "Czech prime minister supports marriage equality". The Bay Area Reporter. 10 April 2019.
  47. ^ "Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš voices support for gay marriage". news.expats.cz. 9 April 2019.
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  49. ^ "Sněmovní tisk 201 - Novela z. - občanský zákoník". psp.cz. Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
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  51. ^ "Sněmovní tisk 211 - N. ústav. z. - Listina základních práv a svobod". psp.cz. 13 June 2018.
  52. ^ "Skupina poslanců odmítá sňatky pro homosexuály. Svazek muže a ženy chce chránit ústavně". Ceska Televize. 13 June 2018.
  53. ^ "Manželství místo partnerství. Vláda podpořila sňatky pro homosexuályl". denik.cz. 22 June 2018.
  54. ^ "Manželství budou moci podle Babišovy vlády uzavřít i homosexuálové". zpravy.idnes.cz. 22 June 2018.
  55. ^ "Czech government backs bill on same-sex marriage". Reuters. 22 June 2018.
  56. ^ "Petition for same-sex marriage passed to lawmakers". Prague Monitor. 27 June 2018.
  57. ^ "První čtení: manželství pro všechny ve Sněmovně". Jsme fér (in Czech). 31 October 2018.
  58. ^ Crittenton, Anya (31 October 2018). "Czech Republic fails to vote on same-sex marriage, puts it off for later session". Gay Star News.
  59. ^ Kenety, Brian. "CZECH MPS DEBATE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, VOTE POSSIBLE IN JANUARY". Radio Praha. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  60. ^ "Guess who's coming to dinner? LGBTQ couple could win Christian Democrats' marriage contest | Radio Prague". Radio Praha. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  61. ^ Krutilek, Ondřej (10 January 2019). "Zeman zvažuje, že bude vetovat zákon o sňatcích homosexuálních párů". iDNES.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  62. ^ "Zeman uvažuje o vetu případného uzákonění manželství homosexuálů". ČTK (in Czech). Novinky.cz. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  63. ^ "Poll: Most Czechs for same-sex marriages". Prague Daily Monitor. 20 April 2018.
  64. ^ Poll finds overwhelming support for equal marriage in Czech Republic, PinkNews, 20 April 2018
  65. ^ "Průzkum 2019: 75 % lidí souhlasí s registrovaným partnerstvím. Pozitivní postoj ke gayům a lesbám má ve společnosti vzestupnou tendenci". nakluky.cz (in Czech). 7 June 2019.
  66. ^ "Průzkum: 61 % Čechů souhlasí s manželstvím párů stejného pohlaví a podpora nadále roste. Podporují jej také známé osobnosti!". nakluky.cz (in Czech). 20 January 2019.

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