Parliament drops civil partnership debate
PR dla Zagranicy
The Sejm lower parliamentary house has voted against a debate on a bill which would regulate civil partnerships – both heterosexual and homosexual – in Poland.
Photo: Krzysztof Białoskórski/www.sejm.gov.pl
The proposed law – which was put forward by the Democratic Left Alliance – foresees the possibility of joint payment of income tax, the right to inheritance as well as social security benfits in the event of one of the partner’s deaths.
However, the bill will likely now be shelved after MPs overwhelmingly voted against any discussion on the matter. Only 146 MPs voted for, while 215 were against, with 24 abstaining and 75 not voting at all.
One third of MPs from the centre-right ruling Civic Platform voted against the the debate, as well as the vast majority of MPs hailing from the more conservative parties, including Law and Justice, the Polish People’s Party and the United Right.
The proposed law was submitted back in January 2013, and was aimed at formalising unions between gay and heterosexual couples.
Despite a debate on the bill being delayed, Wincenty Elsner from the Democratic Left Alliance said that the party would submit a motion on its discussion in the next parliament following October’s elections.
The dropping of the motion has attracted criticism from gay-rights groups, and comes days after Ireland – seen as a Catholic outpost in Europe – voted in favour of same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum.
“We are lied to by politicians – mostly conservative – who say that Poland is not ready for civil partnerships, let alone [same-sex] marriage,” said head of the Campaign Against Homophobia, Agata Chaber.
“That is a lie, Poland is ready,” she said.
This is the subsequent attempt at the legalisation of civil partnerships in Poland. In December last year, the Sejm also dropped the issue from its agenda, following three previous attempts before that. (jb)