Czech Deputies Refuse to Strengthen the Rights of Same-Sex Couples

The Czech Chamber of Deputies did not approve the proposal of MP Karla Šlechtová, who herself belongs to a sexual minority, on whether a child could be entrusted to joint foster care of two people who are not spouses.

That is, both to unmarried couples as well as to registered partners. Deputies rejected the proposal by only three votes.

Overall, 54 out of 113 MPs present voted in favor of the proposal. However, 57 votes were necessary to get the motion approved.

“Deputies have had the opportunity to prove that they are serious about settling at least some of the rights for gay and lesbian families and their children in foster care and that they are primarily concerned with ensuring a real family and a dignified environment. The children have fallen victim to their hypocrisy,” said Filip Milde of the We Are Fair association, which seeks to ensure that same-sex couples can get married and have the same rights as heterosexuals.

The majority of the present ANO and the Pirates deputies, three Social Democrats (ČSSD), two TOP 09 MPs, and two deputies of the Mayors and Independents supported the proposal, stating that couples living in a registered partnership should also be able to get a child into foster care.

The Civic Democrats (ODS), Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), Communists (KSČM), and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) deputies were against, while eleven MPs of the ANO movement abstained from voting. Karla Šlechtová, the author of the proposal, was not present at the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.

“Our opinion on the principle of marriage and the upbringing of children has been known for a long time. If this was approved, it would set a heavy precedent for other areas of law in the Czech Republic,” noted Marian Jurečka, the chairman of Christian Democrats.

“Anyone can become a foster parent. It can also be a single individual. There doesn’t have to be a document stating that he or she has one or another sexual orientation,” said ANO MP Aleš Juchelka, who abstained from voting.

“But once you are in a registered partnership, it is an obstacle to becoming a foster parent. That’s the way it is today,” said Olga Richterová, the vice-president of the Pirates, to Juchelka’s statement.

The Government Commissioner for Human Rights and the ANO movement MP Helena Válková, who voted in favor of the proposal, said each deputy had a free hand in voting on the matter.

The TOP 09 chairwoman, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, confirmed that most political parties did not choose a joint stand on the issue and everyone voted for themselves.

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