Fiala’s Cabinet Takes Neutral Position On Rival Amendments To Marriage Law

The same-sex marriage bill would require an absolute majority in both the lower and upper chambers of parliament. Photo Credit: Freepik

Prague, Aug 25 (CTK) – The Czech government has taken a neutral stance on an MP’s initiative to define marriage in the constitution as between one man and one woman, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) told reporters after a cabinet meeting today.

He said the cabinet intended to leave space for MPs to question the proposals based on their own values ​​and ethics, and for government ministers to vote according to their own values ​​and faith.

The Chamber of Deputies has already received a bill filed by another group of MPs to permit same-sex marriage in the Czech Republic. The government took a neutral stance on this bill as well.

During the comment procedure, the cabinet received nine negative positions and three positives on the constitutional amendment. A further seven institutions took a neutral position.

Some ministries stated that the approval of the bill should be a matter for political decision.

Fiala said yesyerday that the cabinet took a neutral stance.

“It corresponds to our position, which we have declared repeatedly, that in questions related to values ​​and ethics, we would leave it up to each MP and member of the cabinet what stance they take based on their values, faith and things they believe in,” he explained.

The bill to modify the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms was tabled by a group of around 50 MPs led by KDU-CSL MP Marek Vyborny, from the governmental Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Civic Democrats (ODS) and TOP 09 and the opposition ANO and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

The MPs claim they want to strengthen the traditional family by defining marriage as between a man and a woman, which they see as one of its foundation stones.

The proposed change to the Civil Code enabling same-sex marriages was signed by one MP from each of five deputy groups: Mayors and Independents (STAN), TOP 09, Pirates and ODS from the government coalition, and ANO from the opposition.

The cabinet previously also took a neutral stance on this bill.

While the bid to pass the bill on same-sex marriage would require an absolute majority of 50%+1 in both the lower and upper houses of parliament, the constitutional definition of marriage as between opposite-sex couples would require a three-fifth majority to pass.

Most parties allow their MPs to vote freely on matters of conscience.

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