Slovenia Passes Civil Union Bill
Slovene parliament has passed a bill on same sex partnerships, backed 44:3 after the centre-left opposition staged a walk-out early in the debate.
The bill allows same-sex couples to register their partnership, and gives partners equal rights and obligations in relation to property and earnings, housing and inheritance, healthcare and information. As in New Zealand; it does not constitute legalisation of gay marriage.
Opposition parties have maintained in the debate that the bill grants only selective rights to gays, and criticised the government for failing to consult any gay rights groups while drafting it. Representatives of gay organisations have called on same sex partners to boycott civil unions.
The bill will become effective one year after being signed into law.
But, according to this, the new law organizes only property relations, support of the socially weaker partner, and only partially inheritance. It does not give any rights concerning social security, health insurance, retirement, nor does it give a status of a family.
Apparently, the discussion in the conservative-dominated parliament was so disrespectful to gays that GLBT community walked out, the liberals walked out, and the European Union sent an open letter of warning to the speaker of the Parliament. Thus, they were forced to vote in this minimalistic bill that nobody is happy with. I guess it is a first step, but on an apparently steep staircase.