Introducing Lifetime Partnership

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A broad coalition of non governmental organizations introduced a shared platform Životné partnerstvo (Lifetime partnership) to reach public support and gain a legal recognition of the same sex couples and their families. A proposed legal institute of lifetime partnerships (known as registered partnerships as well) is also open for every couple, heterosexual ones as well, that have the option to get married but haven’t done that for different reasons.

The Lifetime partnership platform consists of 36 non governmental organizations whose aim is to persuade the general public and government that we need the lifetime partnerships legal approvement. The main idea is to publish personal stories that would offer space to think of and redefine public opinion of gay people. „It’s time to show same sex couples that live among us, time to listen to their problems and enforce solutions,“ platform representative Martin Macko points out. Due to his words „using individual examples of same sex couples and a public discussion, the platform would like to unveil that couples like these share the same values and have the same reasons to get married as all the others“.

The platform is to bring new points of view reflecting demographic trends and phenomena related, e.g. an increasing number and rate of people living in a different types of informal unions and a rapid growth of children born out of wedlock. Platform representative Fedor Blaščák explains: „New lifetime partnerships institute means an option for those couples who refuse to get married and therefore gain a traditional form of a legal approvement for different reasons. These days even in Slovakia we have more options or ways to choose our own family or private life. The lifetime partnership we come up with unites both hetero and homosexual couples and their families.“

The Lifetime partnership platform would bring the same value of mutual rights and obligations as a marriage, e. g. a right of joint tenancy or a right of a tax bonus. Because of a child’s best interests it´s necessary that the platform also covers the relationship between partners and their biological children. Public ombudsman Jana Dubovcová supported the proposals: „I stand for non governmental organizations activities that try to form the legislation and include items of state approved partnerships who meet all the criteria to get married except for a sex difference.“

That’s why lifetime partnership includes a legal possibility to adopt a child by a partner of his / her biological parent provided by this parent’s agreement. „Whether you approve raising children by same sex couples or not, the fact is there are families of this kind in Slovakia with hundreds of kids and it’s necessary to protect them and recognize the families by law and society,“ says platform representative Jana Jablonická Zezulová.

„I stand for the activities that remind us of a fundamental right to respect private and family life (Art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) and that a right to be free from unjustified interference in his or her private and family life (Art. 19 paragraph 2 of our constitution) belongs to anyone. Every family, regardless of its members’ sex, needs an equal protection and recognition by the state and society,“ ombudsman Jana Dubovcová explains.

Find more information about lifetime partnership at www.zivotnepartnerstvo.sk. The platform is coordinated by Iniciatíva Inakosť (Initiative Otherness) that tries to reach a legal recognition of same sex couples since its foundation in 2006. First request to adopt the registered partnership law in Slovakia came from a lesbian association Museion in 1994.

Supported by Open Society Foundations grant. Realized as a part of the project Spolu za všetky rodiny (Together for all families), supported by sum of 30,188.15 € from NGO Fund that is financed by Financial Mechanism EEA 2009 – 2014. Open Society Foundation is the fund manager. The aim of the project is to support democracy and human rights.

Author: Nadácia otvorenej spoločnosti 4.06.2015

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