February 7, 2015, Slovakia will hold a referendum on the question whether to open up marriage to same-sex couples, and whether adoption by these couples should be possible. This was announced by President Andrej Kiska.
Behind the referendum initiative is the Alliance for Family (AZR). The referendum was supported by the Slovakian Roman Catholic church and the American evangelical organization Alliance Defending Freedom. They collected 400,000 signatures, which was more than enough to enforce going to the people over this.
Last June, the Slovak parliament already decided with a constitutional amendment that marriage is only valid for a couple consisting of a man and a woman, but that was not enough for the AZR. The organisation wants to strongly confirm this revision to parry presumed pressure from the European Union for more equality for LGBTs.
The decision of the Slovak President follows a verdict of the Slovak Constitutional Court, late October 2014. The Court then decided that three of the four questions the AZR wants to put to the people have to be admitted.
The first question is meant to make it impossible for same-sex couples to marry, by constitutionalizing that marriage is strictly a union of a man and a woman. The other two questions are about adoption by same-sex couples and the right of parents to decide whether their children should be subjected to sex education in the educational system. The fourth question on a form of registered partnership for same-sex couples was rejected by the Constitutional Court.
For the referendum to be lawful, more than half of all eligible voters have to vote.