Here are a dozen shots from today’s rally of same-sex marriage and equal rights supporters in Ljubljana ahead of Sunday’s referendum in Slovenia that could overturn a marriage equality law approved by parliament last spring.
If the “za”, or “yes” campaign triumphs, Slovenia will become the first Central European and post-Communist nation to enact full marriage equality. There has been, predictably, a massive scare campaign, based mostly on outright lies and hysteria, waged by opposition groups to prevent Slovenia from making that step forward. (Aljaz Pengov Bitenc aka Pengovsky has listed a number of anti-equality faction’s fallacious and discredited arguments here.)
Slovenian parliament passed a law in March that legally recognized same-sex marriage, granting same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.
However, a conservative group who call themselves ‘Za Otroke gre’ (rough translation ‘Children are at stake’) temporarily blocked the law, collected enough signatures to bring the motion to a referendum and appealed to the Constitutional Court.
Supporters of the law say that Slovenian referendum legislation doesn’t allow for human rights issues in general and those on the rights of a minority in particular, to be decided by popular vote. But in a widely criticized 5-4 decision, the Constitutional Court essentially disagreed, arguing that gay rights cannot necessarily be considered human rights, at least not until the court considers the question. That paved the way to Sunday’s referendum.
Supporters of marriage equality in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana gather below a statue of the country’s national poet France Preseren during a rally ahead of a referendum that could reverse a marriage equality law.
A marriage equality supporter at a rally in Ljubljana, Slovenia holds a sign that reads “It’s time for equality” ahead of the country’s referendum which will decide the fate of a marriage equality law.
Branimir Strukelj, the General Secretary of the Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (SVIZ) addresses a rally of marriage equality supporters in Ljubljana ahead of a gay marriage referendum.
Ljubljana, Slovenia, 18 December 2015.
PS: Added to today’s WordPress Photo Challenge: a rally is a gathering, isn’t it?