Slovenia has not become last Sunday 20th of December the first country of the former Communist bloc to open marriage to homosexuals. Consulted in a referendum on popular initiative, Slovenian voters largely rejected the law and voted for a No to Gay marriage. Law which was passed ten months ago by their deputies to 63.12%, according to near final results published by the authorities.

The vote resulted in a low participation (35.65%). However, sufficient enough to be validated. Opponents of the law have mobilized at least 370,000 votes out of 342,000 needed to approve the “No” to homosexual marriage.

The law was passed by a large majority in Parliament by the left party and the centrist party of Prime Minister Miro Cerar. It gave gays and lesbians couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including the adoption. The most contested points by opponents of gay marriage.

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The Pope was for the ‘no’ to gay marriage.

With 40,000 signatures,the opposition party of the right and the Catholic Church had obtained the right of a referendum on popular initiative. It immediately suspended the application of the law passed by the Parliament. Note also that since the right to gay marriage was approved earlier in 2015, there has not been any official homosexual marriage registered yet.

In 2012, Slovenia had already said no to gay marriage by 55% in a similar referendum. Even if this country of two million inhabitants, member of the European Union since 2004, is generally considered the more liberal of the former communist nations, the weight of the Catholic Church still remains very strong.

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After the victory of the NO, the family code should return to its original states and limit the rights of gay civil union for the next several years.

The President Borut Pahor and the Prime Minister were both on the YES side. However, the Pope Francis pleaded this week for the ‘NO’, inviting the Slovenians to “support the family, reference structure of life in society.”