Referendum of the Alliance for Family

Slovak citizens may have to cast their votes in another referendum initiated by the Alliance for Family. The referendum has been suspended and it was passed on the Constitutional court by the President. If the Court approves it, will the majority of Slovaks incline to vote in favour of the arguments of the Alliance or will they grant opportunities to LGBTI communities?

A mere attempt to stick to the functioning model

10/18/2014 - 15:00
The engagement of the voluntary organization “Alliance for Family” has considerably spiced up the discussion regarding the same sex marriages in Slovakia. The organization not only stood up against the marriages, but especially criticized adoptions by people of the same sex. Since they managed to find enough signatures to initiate a referendum, the Alliance became the target of attacks.

However, as the Alliance for Family underlined themselves, they did not attempt to act against anybody in the first place. Their only goal is to maintain the functioning status quo which got us this far.

Who will be there to adopt?

It is overly optimistic to hope that there will be enough abandoned children for the rising number of homosexual couples. Therefore, the real question to ask is where will these children come from? Since biologically, no matter how strong their feelings for each other might be, homosexual couples are incapable to conceive children. This fact moves us further on the so called 'modern evolution' of society. The question of surrogacy is still unclear, however the case of homosexuals couples will have to push boundaries even further. ‘Mail ordered children’ could be the possible future. The real question to ask is: are we ready to go down this road? 

Hazardous social and economic experiment

Moreover, when we do not know what is an origin of homosexuality the adoptions might considerably increase the number of homosexuals. The science has not given a clear response up until now and all we can rely on are some heated discussions and testimonies. Nobody knows whether homosexuality is inborn or caused by outside influences. There is no proof, no study, no evidence that scientist would agree on.
Therefore, to allow homosexual couples to adopt is to take a huge bet on what might happen. What impact will this have on children? Will they be able to make a functional heterosexual family one day when they have not experienced this model in their own childhood? Not mentioning that many see the question of adoption as a human rights problem while this could be easily challenged. Yes, no human being should be discriminated against for their sexual orientation. On the other hand, why should the most traditional and functioning model of family not be protected?
When talking in purely economic terms, and it is very harsh to state it so bluntly, nonetheless it is a fact that a homosexual couple cannot possibly contribute to the society in the same way as a heterosexual family with children does. Despite their feelings, they simply cannot contribute to society in terms of newborn children. Whether we like it or not, this could cause serious structural problems later since there might not be enough children to support the pension system.

What lead the President to overstep his competencies?

Not only the traditional family is not sufficiently protected, the President is also hesitant. Moreover, he clearly acted against the Constitution of the Slovak Republic. A referendum being the direct expression of democracy, the Head V. Article 95 of Slovak Constitution stipulates that the President calls a referendum whenever a minimum of 350, 000 citizens' signatures are collected. Nonetheless, President Andrej Kiska decided to overstep his competences and passed the decision on to the Constitutional Court, while in principle there should not have been any hesitations in the first place.
One of the basic principles of democracy is the possibility to express one’s opinions. If support for same sex marriages and adoptions is as strong as publicly claimed, there is no need to try to divert democracy in the first place.

This article deliberately presents only one of the many existing points of views of this contorversial subject. Its content is not necessarily representative of its author's personal opinion. Please have a look at Duel Amical's philosophy.

Risking the ostracism of a community

10/18/2014 - 15:00
An essential feature of a democracy is the duty to protect minorities regardless of their type, whether they are a religious, national, ethnic or sexual minority. However, Slovak authorities and officials fail to protect and integrate the Roma ethnic community and there is a possibility that another minority type is going to be excluded from the society soon.

The LGBTI community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) in the Slovak Republic has been struggling for its rights for a long time. Many discussions have been held on the topic of how LGBTI rights are not in any way supported by laws and by the politics of the government. A few Gay Pride parades have taken place in Bratislava but as a response, a new civic association has emerged, namely the Alliance for Family (AF), which has been striving to promote the “traditional family” as the union of a man and a woman. Eventually, the members of the AF have collected the mandatory limit of signatures to hold a referendum. However, Andrej Kiska, the President of the Slovak Republic, has put the referendum on hold.

Disputable claim may be in violation of human rights

As soon as the AF submitted the referendum bill to the President, he expressed doubts about its constitutionality. He decided to pass it on to the Constitutional Court of Slovakia, to make sure that there no doubts remained about the constitutionality of the referendum questions. The representatives of the Alliance for Family stated that they did not understand the President’s decision. In their statement, they expressed that “The President in his campaign promised to endorse the people’s direct engagement for the common good and that he would support their activities.” However, this has nothing to do with people being active in public life to promote the welfare of citizens. The objectives of this initiative are on the brink of legality and seem to grossly violate fundamental human rights, if they were ever to come into force. Thus the President’s decision to postpone the referendum is understandable. When the initiators say that the President doesn’t allow the people to decide for themselves, they have misunderstood his actions. The Constitution does not allow a referendum, in the field of human rights.

Issues in question

The AF has submitted four questions: 1. should marriage only be a union between a man and a woman, 2. should couples or groups of persons of the same sex be allowed to adopt a children and carry out their subsequent upbringing, 3. should people of same sex should be able to enjoy rights associated with marriage (e.g. recognition and registration of marriage in front of the public authority) and the last one, 4. should schools be allowed to require children being present in class for sex education, if parents or children themselves do not agree with the content of the class. The adoption issue is the most important for a number of reasons, so we are going to discuss that one only.

Firstly, all people have the right to live their lives to the fullest. It is highly questionable, whether children placed in an orphanage would not have a better life living with parents, without regard to the sex of these parents, since their love would not depend on it. Homosexual parents could love the child the same way or maybe even more as heterosexual parents would. There is no scientific evidence of children being negatively affected after being brought up by same-sex parents.

Secondly, there is evidence that children tend to have poor conditions in orphanages. Every child should have a chance to live in a family full of love and care, because one’s sex does not determine his or her ability to have a full devotion to bringing up a child. Orphanages are full of children who should be in their own homes, with parents by their side. They certainly will not have a very promising future without a stable family background. And this is what should always be kept in mind. The referendum not passing would hopefully bring us a step closer to empty orphanages.

This article deliberately presents only one of the many existing points of views of this contorversial subject. Its content is not necessarily representative of its author's personal opinion. Please have a look at Duel Amical's philosophy.

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The state of the votes



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