Utrecht Law Review (Jan 2017)

Same-Sex Marriages (or Civil Unions/Registered Partnerships) in Slovak Constitutional Law: Challenges and possibilities

  • Marián Sekerák

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 1
pp. 34 – 59


Read online

In February 2015, Slovakia held a referendum ʻfor the protection of the traditional family.ʼ It was indirectly aimed against the potential legalization of same-sex marriages or civil unions. Owing to the initiative of the Slovak President, the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic (CCSR) reviewed four proposed referendum questions, while one of them was later declared unconstitutional. I attempt to point out the flaws in the CCSR’s judgment while looking for an argumentation in favour of the recognition of same-sex marriages/civil unions. I argue that Slovak constitutional law provides several principles for such recognition, which include: civic equality, similarity, equal access, democratic state, and the right to privacy. These principles are compared with the recent ground-breaking judgments of the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, I briefly scrutinise the objection that recognising a right for same-sex unions means excessive judicial activism and judicializes politics.