The lower house of the Czech Parliament began debating a bill that could give same-sex couples the right to marry.
The bill was drafted by a group of lawmakers across the political spectrum. It is supported by the coalition center-left government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The amendment follows a country-wide debate led by the Jsme fér (We Are Fair) campaign, promoting the fair treatment of same-sex couples. 67% of Czechs support marriage equality while 97% of Czech gays and lesbians want the chance to get married.
A number of European nations have legalized same-sex marriage, most recently Austria, but the Czech Republic could become the first post-Communist member of the European Union to do so.
The Czech Republic has been allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter registered partnerships since 2006. Unlike neighboring Poland and Slovakia, the Czech Republic is one of Europe’s most secular societies and religious groups have a relatively weak voice.