Marriage Equality Supporters Gather in Ljubljana on Eve of Historic Referendum

Cross-posted from my blog, Piran Cafe

Here are a dozen shots from today’s rally of same-sex marriage and equal rights supporters in Ljubljana ahead of Sunday’s referendum in Slovenia that could overturn a marriage equality law approved by parliament last spring.

If the “za”, or “yes” campaign triumphs, Slovenia will become the first Central European and post-Communist nation to enact full marriage equality. There has been, predictably, a massive scare campaign, based mostly on outright lies and hysteria, waged by opposition groups to prevent Slovenia from making that step forward. (Aljaz Pengov Bitenc aka Pengovsky has listed a number of anti-equality faction’s fallacious and discredited arguments here.)

Slovenian parliament passed a law in March that legally recognized same-sex marriage, granting same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.

However, a conservative group who call themselves ‘Za Otroke gre’ (rough translation ‘Children are at stake’) temporarily blocked the law, collected enough signatures to bring the motion to a referendum and appealed to the Constitutional Court.

Supporters of the law say that Slovenian referendum legislation doesn’t allow for human rights issues in general and those on the rights of a minority in particular, to be decided by popular vote. But in a widely criticized 5-4 decision, the Constitutional Court essentially disagreed, arguing that gay rights cannot necessarily be considered human rights, at least not until the court considers the question. That paved the way to Sunday’s referendum.

Eleven images below. For editorial use, please check out the images filed for Corbis and Demotix or get in touch.

MEP Angelika Mlinar in LjubljanaEuropean Parliament member Angelika Mlinar speaks to a rally of marriage equality supporters in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana ahead of a referendum which could overturn a marriage equality law.

MEP Tanja Fajon in LjubljanaEuropean Parliament member Tanja Fajon addresses a crowd at a rally of gay marriage supporters ahead of a referendum in Slovenia that will decide the fate of a marriage equality law.

Actress Ana Dolinar in Ljubljana, SloveniaSlovenian actress Ana Dolinar speaks to a crowd of marriage equality supporters in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

Marriage equality supporters in LjubljanaSupporters of marriage equality in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana gather below a statue of the country’s national poet France Preseren during a rally ahead of a referendum that could reverse a marriage equality law.

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