LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, March 23, 2012, ( – The Slovenian government has received a stern warning from a coalition of religious leaders against loosening the country’s laws to extend adoption rights to homosexual partners.

“We have committed ourselves to defend the right of every single child to a family environment with both a father and a mother,” the statement said.

The country is having a referendum this Sunday on a bill that was passed last year by the previous “center-left” coalition government. The law was blocked by a pro-family organisation that launched the Civil Initiative for the Family and the Rights of the Child and collected the 42 thousand signatures required to call a referendum.

“We all have an obligation to protect the values of marriage and of family as a community of a husband and a wife, and children,” the statement says. It was signed by Archbishop Anton Stres, the Catholic Metropolitan of Ljubljana, Tomo Ćirković, a representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Nedžad Grabus, the mufti of the country’s Islamic community.

It urges “all citizens and civil organizations to take a stand for the defence and preservation of family values and for the adoption of appropriate legislation that would protect family life and the basic rights of children.”

“Family life is the cornerstone of every society and state, which means that the state should be in the service of the family and not the family in the service of the state.”

“We are against the new family law because it does not recognize the exceptional importance of women and men in giving birth, the personal development and upbringing of children, and does not bring new rights to children,” Ales Primc, head of the group that launched the initiative, told Reuters.

“It also paves a way for a homosexual education in the school system and we believe such an education should be followed only in agreement with parents.”

The bill proposes to give recognition to single-parent families and to loosen divorce laws for childless couples. Opponents have said that it would pave the way for legalisation of surrogate motherhood or artificial insemination for lesbian couples.

“Instead of protecting the ideal type of family, a man, a woman and their children,” the group said, “they want to place various type of living together on the same level, as if these had the same value. Doing so, they want to redefine the traditional family at the expense of Christian values.”

A public rejection of the law will require that it be withdrawn and that the Assembly cannot bring forward new legislation on the subject for a year. A poll taken earlier this month showed a slight lead for those accepting the bill, but 20.9 per cent polled as undecided, with only 35.9 per cent in favour and 26.3 per cent opposed. The poll of 504 voters found only 16.9 per cent did not intend to vote on the highly controversial issue.

The traditional family is in crisis in Slovenia, as in many post-Soviet European countries. Official figures show that 55 per cent of children are born outside marriage, and a third live with only one parent. Against this backdrop of social breakdown, homosexualist doctrines are making legal progress.

In 2006 Slovenia allowed same-sex partnerings to be formally registered, giving partners rights to inherit property and transfer pensions. The bill, passed last year by the previous Parliament with a centre-left majority, proposes to expand the existing registered partnerships to allow one partner to adopt the natural child of the other.

The successful strategy of homosexualist activists in Slovenia, as in many other countries, has been to press their case and force parliamentary change through the courts. The current law was brought forward after a July 2009 ruling by the Constitutional Court of Slovenia that found it unconstitutional to prevent registered partners from inheriting each other’s property. The ruling said that treating registered partners differently from married couples constituted discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, breaching Article 14 of the Slovenian Constitution. The court gave the National Assembly six months to bring new legislation forward.

The ruling sparked a national debate on the recognition and legitimacy of homosexual partnerings and prompted then-Minister of the Interior Katarina Kresal to announce that the coalition government intended to create same-sex “marriage” legislation within the year.


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