LGBT rights in Slovenia

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LGBT rights in Slovenia
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male legal since 1977,
female was never criminalized
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
Registered partnerships since 2006,
no same-sex marriage
Adoption planned[1]
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protection
(see below)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals persons in Slovenia may face some challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, though the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) laws make Slovenia one of the most progressive country of the former Yugoslavia. But laws are in most of the cases not carried out in practice.

Slovenia is largely influenced by Roman Catholicism, and is, as a whole, still considered to be rather conservative, especially regarding public reactions concerning gay and transgender rights and visibility of LGBT people. In the last few years there have been a few mass-organized or group violences towards LGBT activism and manifestations.

The lesbian and gay movement has been active in Ljubljana since 1984, when MAGNUS, the gay section at Å KUC (Students Cultural Centre, Ljubljana), was founded as the "Cultural Organisation for Socialisation of Homosexuality." A pro-lesbian feminist group, Lilit, was started in 1985, followed in 1987 by LL, a lesbian group within Å KUC. In 1990 Magnus and LL founded the national lesbian and gay campaigning organisation, Roza Klub.

Other parts of the country have no or very few organizations regarding sexual orientation.

Laws against homosexuality

Under the Penal Code of 30 June 1959 male homosexual acts were illegal in all of (now former) Yugoslavia. During the first half of the 1970s the power over penal legislation was devolved from the Federal Republic to the eight states and provinces. A new penal code that decriminalised homosexual intercourse passed in 1976 and came into force in 1977. All discriminatory provisions were removed. There were no references to lesbian relationships in the old legislation.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Registered partnership for same-sex couples has been legal since 23 July 2006.

In July 2009 the Constitutional Court of Slovenia of Slovenia held that Article 22 of the Registration of Same Sex Partnerships Act (RSSPA) violated the right to non-discrimination under Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of sexual orientation, and required that the legislature remedy the established inconsistency within six months.[2]

In December 2009 the center-left Government of Slovenia approved the new Family Code bill which envisages the full equalization of same-sex unions with other family unions, gay marriage and adoptions by gay couples, and sent it into discussion at the Slovenian National Assembly. The Assembly is expected to vote on the new Family Code bill by May 2010. The center-right opposition accompanied by Catholic Church and traditional family supporters has announced it will force a referendum on the Family Code if the bill is passed in the National Assembly. The latest polls show roughly 2/3 of Slovenian voters oppose same-sex marriage & adoptions by gay couples.

Military service

Homosexuals are not prevented from serving in the Slovenian professional army, but often they are not accepted well by coworkers. Slovenia abolished mandatory military service in 2003.

Discrimination protections

Since 1998 discrimination on basis of sexual orientation in workplaces has been banned. The same goes for employment seekers.[2] Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is also banned in a variety of other fields, including education, housing and the provision of goods and services, with Slovenia having one of most wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws in the EU.[3] Sadly, the laws are mostly merely on paper, as discrimination continues to play a bit role in Slovenian society.

Living conditions

A Eurobarometer survey published on December 2006 showed that 31% of Slovenians surveyed support same-sex marriage and 17% recognise same-sex couples' right to adopt (EU-wide average 44% and 33%).[4]

In Ljubljana there are many gay-friendly clubs and bars. Having started with only a few, the number increases every year. At klub K4 in Ljubljana there are gay and lesbian parties (K4 ROZA) every Sunday and one Saturday a month. At clubs Factory and Bolivar there are gay and lesbian parties organized by Jing Jang group. Parties take place there usually once a month. Other gay-friendly bars and clubs in Ljubljana are Lan, Tiffany and Galerija. In Ljubljana gay and lesbians are usually accepted by younger females and some males, but mostly unaccepted by the elderly and males.

There have been numerous instances of violent gay-bashing all over Slovenia, most recent is the attack that occurred during a literary event at one of the famous gay bars in Ljubljana by younger males with torches. Gay activist Mitja Blažič was injured.

The situation is completely different in eastern Slovenia, especially Styria, Carinthia, Prekmurje and Lower Carniola. Gays and lesbians continue to face discrimination and harassment in eastern Slovenia. The majority of eastern Slovenes display anti-gay attitudes. If gay individuals live together with a partner, such arrangements are usually hidden from relatives, friends and other people. The Catholic church has a lot of influence in those parts and gay people are often seen as freaks, especially in rural areas, but also in larger cities. In 2007 in Maribor several individuals were beaten up by younger males during a Pride parade. In rural parts of Slovenia, most people are barely familiar with terms gay, lesbian, feminism, transgender etc.

Summary table

Homosexuality legal Yes (for men since 1977, never illegal for women)
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws Yes (in employment since 1998)
Same-sex marriage(s) No (Issue under political consideration)
Recognition of same-sex couples as registered partnerships Yes (since 2006)
Joint and step adoption by same-sex couples No (Issue under political consideration)
Gay men and women allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also



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