Same-Sex Partnership Debate in Slovenia: Between Declarative Support and Lack of Political Will
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‘Nothing much’, replied one Slovenian gay activist when asked by a Western journalist what had changed for the LGBT community in Slovenia after 1989. The fall of the Berlin wall and the political changes in the European socialist countries at that time may have been a crucial turning point for some of the Eastern European LGBT communities, and the first opportunity for the LGBT movement that would eventually emerge in some of the post-socialist states, but that was not the case in Slovenia. ‘Nothing much’ referred to the fact that, in 1991, when Slovenia gained its independence, the gay movement had been already active for seven years, and the most important political demands for equality had already been voiced and acted upon. The change in the political system did not alter the essence of these demands, but it did create a new, post-socialist context, and for a moment, raised high hopes that demands for equality would soon be met. Why this did not happen is the focus of this chapter, which provides an overview of the trajectory of the Slovenian gay and lesbian movement. It focuses on the three decades of struggles aimed at deconstructing the heteronormative foundations of partnership and family legislation in Slovenia, and shows that while Europeanization and international norms might have been important factors in these debates, the delays in and resistance to the adoption of marriage equality legislation are best explained by the internal relations between and within the parties that have made up the ruling coalitions in Slovenia over the past 20 years. Furthermore, the role of the conservative movements and political parties—often in close relationship with the Roman Catholic Church—cannot be ignored.
KeywordsHeterosexual Couple Sexual Prejudice Marriage Equality Legal Recognition Family Code
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