NZ Herald 21 December 2015
Slovenians rejected same-sex marriage by a large margin in a referendum on Sunday, according to near-complete results, in a victory for the conservatives backed by the Catholic Church in the ex-communist EU nation.
The results released by authorities show 63.5 percent voted against a bill that defines marriage as a union of two adults, while 36.5 percent were in favor.
Slovenia’s left-leaning Parliament introduced marriage equality in March, but opponents pushed through a popular vote on the issue. The “Children Are At Stake” group has collected 40,000 signatures to challenge the changes before any gay couples were able to marry.
“This result presents a victory for our children,” said Ales Primc, the group’s leader.
Ljudmila Novak, from New Slovenia, described the outcome as a “clear defeat” of the leftist government, which backed the changes.
Supporters of same-sex marriage have called for Slovenia to join Western European nations that have allowed more gay rights. Conservatives and the right-wing opposition have campaigned on traditional family values, arguing that marriage equality paves the way for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.