A group of five MPs from the liberal faction of the largest Slovak government party OLANO have submitted a proposal for the September session of parliament that would, according to the signatories, guarantee the protection of the LGBTQ community more effectively. During a press conference, the MPs argued that such a new legislation is needed in order to combat what they called are growing signs of aggression towards minority groups. Yet there are signs that they face an uphill battle against the Christian wing within their own party, which is against such changes in legislation.
The proposal is a clear signal from the liberal MPs that they want to present Slovakia as a progressive country when it comes to LGBTQ rights, in contrast with Hungary or Poland, whose governments have both been less than keen in adopting the gender ideology currently championed by the majority political establishment in Brussels. Among other things, the new proposal calls for authorities to monitor expressions of “intolerance” and “hate speech” on a number of forums, prompting fears of censorship and state surveillance against more tradition-minded citizens.
One of the signatories, Kristián Čekovský, who is the secretary for the committee responsible for media and culture, had argued that it is a sign of a true democracy when the majority proactively protects the rights of a minority. He referred to an incident from the beginning of July, when in the capital Bratislava a group of gay men were allegedly attacked by unknown assailants and assaulted. No one has been charged with the incident so far, and the motives for the attack are still unknown. Čekovský claimed that “it is necessary to stand up to such behavior”.
Another government MP Andrej Stančík wants this proposal to stand out in a European context in contrast to what he regards as rights violations in some of the surrounding countries. He quoted the so-called LGBTI zones in Poland as an example, an accusation that the European left is constantly accusing Poland of, despite numerous refutations from the Polish government. Stančík also referred to the recent Hungarian anti-pedophilia law that, according to him, restricts the rights of schoolchildren to be informed about homosexuality or trans orientation. In fact, the Hungarian law only restricts the popularization of homosexuality and LGBTQ propaganda among children and places responsibility for the nature of sexual education that their children receive in the hands of parents. Yet Stančík is clearly aware of the fact that the above issues, with regards to which there are ongoing infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland, would please the all-powerful European progressive elite.
Arguments supporting the proposal have also been turned into what can only be described as a below-the-belt punch against one of the leading figures in Slovak politics. Juraj Krúpa, secretary of the parliamentary committee for defense, has criticized politicians who, in his opinion, belong to the LGBTQ community, yet are hiding their sexual orientation and thus are unable to stand up for such people. This is most probably a reference to the leader of the largest opposition party, former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. In the past, there has been considerable media speculation about the sexual orientation of the prominent Slovak politician, but he has never confirmed any claims. However, it is notable that at the birth of a legislation that is meant to protect the rights of sexual identity groups, such a gross violation of privacy should occur to one of the authors of the proposal.
On the other hand, Anna Záhorská, an OLANO party colleague of the five signatories of the proposal and a member of the Christian union fraction, has voiced her skepticism about the plans. She believes that they have made their proposal without the required consultation with other government MPs and said that she has a different opinion about the issue at stake, in several areas. “We are looking at the world differently,” she said. She had also suggested that the proposal should be fundamentally changed in a number of points, which in practice signals that the attempted gender towards Brussels does not even have the support of fellow government members. Although one of the government coalition parties, the liberal SaS, signaled that it would support the proposal, members claimed that doing so would “solve nothing”. Their goal is to go much further than the current declaration and legalize “registered partnerships”, which are currently not allowed in Slovakia. The other two coalition parties, Za ľudí and Sme rodina, have not reacted to the proposal as yet.
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