LJUBLJANA, January 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A referendum initiated by the Slovenian Civilian Initiative for Family and the Rights of Children (CIFRC) challenging the Slovenian Family Code adopted in June 2011, which gives same-sex couples the right to ‘marriage’ and adoption of children, was approved by the Slovenian Constitutional Court on December 27, 2011.
“The Constitutional Court announced it had rejected the parliament’s request to stay the referendum on the controversial family law, meaning that the referendum will be held if the proponents manage to collect the requisite 40,000 signatures,” Ales Primc, head of the CIFRC, told LifeSiteNews.
Mr. Primc explained that the government, alleging that the referendum campaign would be “undemocratic and intolerant,” had asked the court for a ruling on the constitutionality of the referendum in September.
“We are very happy to be able to resume the collecting of signatures for the referendum after it was interrupted with the constitutional review,” said Primc in a press release, noting that over 27,000 signatures had already been collected.
Primc said that the group would resume collecting signatures this week. “The decision of the Constitutional Court confirms our years-long efforts for the respect of human rights and especially children’s rights. They are the weakest link of our society and thus need the greatest care, protection and attention.”
The CIFRC, which Primc points out has over 65,000 members who oppose the controversial Family Code law, supports the position that a child needs a caring and loving mother and father.
“The Family Code should respect and promote the best interests of children and address the major concerns in Slovenian families,” the CIFRC states on their website.
The Slovenia Times reports that the Catholic Church in the country has also welcomed the Slovenian Constitutional Court’s decision to allow the referendum.
Ljubljana Archbishop Anton Stres told the news service, “This means that the Church’s efforts are not in contrast with the Constitution and basic human rights, nor are they at odds with the basic principle of tolerance.”
Family and Social Affairs Minister Ivan Svetlik, on the other hand, is reported to be disappointed by the decision, saying that Slovenia would find itself in a “cultural blockade imposed by the Church.”
However, Svetlik said the Constitutional Court’s decision would be respected.
Primc told LifeSiteNews that the referendum will be held in March or April, 2012, to coincide with parliamentary elections or municipal mayoral elections, but noted that more officially verified signatures must still be collected.
The Civilian Initiative for Family and the Rights of Children also suggests that organizations and individuals send letters of protest to their ministries of foreign affairs, to Slovenian embassies in their countries, and directly to Ms. Andreja Crnak Meglic, Chairwoman, Labor, Family and Social Issues Committee. (Email: [email protected]; or [email protected])
More information may be obtained from the Civilian Initiative for Family and the Rights of Children website here.
Slovenian embassy in Canada:
150 Metcalfe Street, Suite 2101
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1P1
Email: [email protected]
Slovenian embassy in the US:
1525 New Hampshire Avenue
Washington, DC, 20036
Email: [email protected]