Slovenians turn down same-sex marriage, European Dignity Watch reported yesterday. The electorate, in a post-legislative referendum, has overturned the provisions in Slovenia’s new Family Code legalizing same-sex marriage that was adopted by the Balkan country’s parliament in June 2011.

In a popular vote, 55% of voters rejected the new Family Code and 45% supported the law. Turnout was 30% on a sunny Sunday.

Ales Primic, head of the Civil Initiative that proposed the referendum, told European Dignity Watch:

“The people of Slovenia has shown the government and the whole of Europe that claims for privileges for a minority  cannot be accommodated at the expense of the most fundamental right of every child: the right to have a father and a mother. Those who wanted to sacrifice this right for the sake of personal privileges have been told unequivocally by the Slovenian people: motherhood and fatherhood are both unique and valued, we want marriage between a man and a woman to be protected, we want our next generation to grow up in the most favorable environment.”

While the new Family Code had 309 articles and addresses many issues, the Civil Initiative group realised that despite its intense negotiations for changes over the past two and a half years, the Code continued to include serious threats to the family and rights of children.

Primc explained: “We have always been ready for a compromise solution, but the political parties and the LGBT groups insisted on equalising the position of homosexual and conjugal marriages, including the right to decide upon child-bearing.”

The Code was seen as a stepping-stone to the complete equalisation of homosexual and conjugal marriage and for the facilitation of adoption by homosexual couples.

The referendum was the result of a Slovenian expression of “people power” through a civil society movement without party-political influence. It called itself the “Civil Initiative for the Family and the Rights of the Child.”

 The Civil Initiative was opposed by all major media and the President of Slovenia, Danilo Turk (left above). Their campaign was also attacked by most of the political parties in the national parliament. The current Slovenian government, however, decided not to participate formally in the referendum campaign.

 European Dignity Watch hopes that this initiative, the first of its kind in an EU member state, is likely to become an important point of reference for any further legislation in this area in the region of Central Europe.

Michael Kirke was born in Ireland. In 1966 he graduated from University College Dublin (History and Politics). In that year he began working on the sub-editorial desk of The Evening...