Breaking: Largely-Catholic Slovenia Obeys Pope’s Plea To Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Law


Voters in Slovenia just chose to overturn a law that allowed same-sex couples to marry, after Pope Francis intervened.

Slovenia, a small European country of about 2 million people with a strong conservative Catholic heritage, has passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry earlier this year. But the country's supreme court decided the people should vote on the rights of a minority, and since Tuesday they've been filing their ballots.

The majority of those ballots have been counted, and it's clear that the minority are those who support marriage equality. Slovenia, on track to be the 21st nation in the world to extend the right of marriage to same-sex couples, has chosen to not.

"Around 63% of people who cast ballots in the election voted to repeal the law, according to preliminary tallies," Buzzfeed's J. Lester Feder reports. He adds, "the repeal vote needed at least 343,104 votes; they got more than 380,000."

Slightly more than half the country is Roman Catholic, down sharply from 97 percent before World War II, and from 72 percent in 1991. 

Pope Francis decided to weigh in as well, as NCRM reported Saturday. Francis, who the LGBT community once hoped would be more accepting of gays, urged Slovenians to "uphold family values" and vote against marriage equality. 

"I wish to encourage all Slovenians, especially those in public capacity, to preserve the family as the basic unit of society," the Pope said Wednesday, to a group of Slovenian visitors during an audience at St. Peter's Square.

Human Rights Watch, before the vote was complete, reported that "a conservative group calling itself 'Children Are at Stake,' backed by the Roman Catholic Church, collected more than 80,000 signatures for a referendum on the law, invoking the constitutional right of Slovenians to appeal laws adopted by parliament."

"Groups like 'Children Are at Stake' have been using discredited arguments alleging harmful consequences from same-sex parenting to try to reverse marriage equality. More than 70 peer-reviewed scholarly studies from around the world have concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare as well as other children. For LGBT children, growing up in an environment of non-discrimination and equality serves their best interest, Human Rights Watch said."

Among those supporting same-sex marriage are the liberal-centrist political party, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE/ADLE), of the the European Parliament. Members posted photos of themselves advocating for equality, including these:





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