Credit: Freepik

Partnership Rights For Same-Sex Couples To Be Expanded From 2025

Same-sex couples will be able to enter into civil partnerships with most of the rights enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples as from next year, under an amendment to the Civil Code signed by President Petr Pavel today. Restrictions will however still apply on the right to adopt children. 

Marriage is available to same-sex couples is possible in 36 countries, including 16 in the European Union. Non-marital same-sex unions are recognised in around 10 further countries, including the Czech Republic. Activists intend to keep pushing for equal marriage.

The amendment is the result of compromise agreements in the Chamber of Deputies. The bill’s parliamentary sponsors originally pushed for same-sex marriage legislation, so that homosexual couples would have all the same rights as spouses. However, this proved to be impossible in the lower house and Senate in their current composition, so lawmakers eventually agreed to adopt a modified version. 

The amendment will replace the current registered partnerships. Those in such partnerships currently do not have joint property under the law and are not entitled to a widow’s or widower’s pension after the death of a partner, which the amendment will address.

Adoption of a child will only be possible under the amendment if one of the partners is the child’s biological parent (so-called stepchild adoption). According to the co-author of the amendment, Jiri Navratil (KDU-CSL), adoption by one partner of a child already adopted by the other partner would be possible only on the basis of a court decision.

The amendment will improve the situation of gay and lesbian couples and “rainbow families” with children, but it will not guarantee them equal rights, according to the government Human Rights Commissioner Klara Simackova Laurencikova.

According to the We Are Fair initiative, the new law is an intermediate step, which will help LGBT families with children, but will not guarantee them equality and full recognition in society. However, We Are Fair’s spokesman Filip Milde noted that for the first time legislators are legally recognising the existence of families of two mothers or two fathers with offspring.

Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail