Czech Republic: Gays Request Support for Domestic Partners Legislation

For the past year and a half, the Czech lesbian and gay organization SOHO has been fighting to get domestic partners legislation adopted by the Czech Parliament. The legislation proposes officially registering partnerships with the civil authorities, and states that registered partners shall have the same rights as married couples in numerous important areas, such as the right to inherit property and the right to join an apartment lease.

If domestic partners legislation passes in the Czech Republic, it will be one of only a few countries to enact such legislation. SOHO has spent much money and effort in the past eighteen months building coalitions and mobilizing support to bring its proposals before the Parliament, and will be trying once again this year to get the legislation on the parliamentary agenda.

Laws in the Czech Republic are generally liberal in regards to homosexuality, with the age of consent for gay women and men set at fifteen, the same age as it is for heterosexuals. However, SOHO has been having considerable trouble even getting the Czech Parliament to consider its proposal. Your letters will help Czech gays keep the pressure on their representatives and make their parliament deal with this issue.

A sample letter follows:

Dear Mr. ___________:

I am writing in support of the registered partnership amendments to the Czech Civil Code and Family Law proposed by SOHO. By quickly enacting these amendments, you will guarantee that thousands of unmarried Czech partnerships receive the same respect and consideration under the law as their married counterparts.

The status of unmarried couples is precarious in many ways. If one of them dies, the other may lose his home and all his possessions. A person can be denied the right to live with and care for the person he has chosen as his life partner. These problems are especially serious for gay men and lesbians, who cannot by law marry their partners, nor can they currently address these inequities in any legal fashion.

The registered partnership amendments before you would level the playing field. They impose responsibilities as well as rights, and contribute to the recognition that families everywhere deserve encouragement and respect, regardless of their marital status.

Sincerely,

Letters should be sent to:

Mr. Milan Uhde
Predseda Poslaneckeho snemovny Parlamentu CR
Snemovni 4
118 26 Praha 1
Czech Republic
Mr. Ivan Medek
Reditel Odboru vnitrni politiky
Kancelar prezidenta republiky
119 08 Praha - Hrad
Czech Republic.