By Hilary White
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, December 1, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While the Slovenian parliament prepares to vote on a bill creating legal same-sex “marriage” and allowing homosexual partners to adopt children, Christians have taken to the streets to protest the measure.
Local media reports that in October, 3000 people gathered in the capital Ljubljana to protest against the planned legislation. If approved, the bill will come into force on May 1, 2011 and would make Slovenia the first Central European country and the first former Communist country to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
In 2006, the government created registered partnerships for same-sex partners that gave rights to inherit the partner's property and pension, but does not confer the status of legal next-of-kin to the partners.
In July this year, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia ruled that it is unconstitutional to prevent registered partners from inheriting each other's property and said that treating registered partners differently from married partners constituted discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The court ordered parliament to remedy this situation within six months.
In response, the Minister of the Interior, Katarina Kresal said that Slovenia will likely legalize same-sex “marriage” in the near future.
Slovenia has been praised by homosexualist activists as one of the most “progressive” of the formerly communist Balkan states with its laws favoring same-sex unions, despite the country's traditional Catholic culture.
The percentage of the Slovenian population identifying themselves as Catholics has fallen in recent years and the weekly Mass attendance of those who do identify themselves as such has been falling. The health of Slovenia's Catholic culture is indicated by the country's birth rate, which, at 1.28 children born per woman, is a level described by demographers as the “death spiral.” Slovenia also allows abortion on demand for any reason.
The pro-family NGO, Iskreni.net, has announced a billboard campaign promoting traditional family values in response to the bill and family campaigners have petitioned the government to stop the legislation. The petition calls on the government to limit the definition of marriage to the union of a man and a woman, and the definition of family to the community of a father, mother and children.
The head of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Slovenian Catholic Bishops' Conference has called for “determined resistance” against ideologies opposing the value of the family.
Archbishop Anton Stres of Ljubljana said at the October rally, “We have gathered because of the family, because we believe in it, because we know that the family built on the matrimony between a man and a woman is an indispensable cradle of life and love.”
The current government has refused to defend the family, the archbishop said, and instead it is trying to rob the family of its value.