Czech Republic president reluctant to sign same-sex partnership bill

February 01, 2006

President Vaclav Klaus
PRAGUE, Czech Republic — President Vaclav Klaus will probably not sign a bill on registered partnership of homosexuals passed by the Senate on Thursday, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes writes.

Klaus has repeatedly voiced reservations about the legislation giving the right to conclude official partnership unions to the people of the same sex.

Klaus told Mlada fronta Dnes on Friday that journalists could speculate about his decision "on the basis of quite clear indirect evidence."

"I will speak about the registered partnership bill at the right moment. After I receive it and have the 15-day time to sign it. However, I have sufficiently voiced my views on it in the media," Klaus told the paper.

Klaus presented his disagreement with the legislation last February when it was debated by the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech Parliament.

"I consider the marriage a traditional institution of one type. Let them arrange their relationship in any way. But I am absolutely against mixing this with family and marriage," Klaus said then.

If he signs it into law, the Czech Republic will be the first post-communist and 13th European country to embed homosexual partnership.

Supporters of the bill say the bill will make homosexual partners' life easier in contact with offices. The opponents say it threatens the maintenance of heterosexual family.

The bill defines the establishment and termination of a partnership union that will be entered in the identity card.

The bill ensures the partners' right to information on the health condition of their partners and a chance to inherit property as married couples.

The bill also counts with the obligation to pay maintenance and allows the homosexual partners to raise children, but it does not allow them to adopt them. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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