Slovakia referendum to restrict gay rights fails
A referendum in Slovakia to define marriage as an union between man and woman has failed due to low voter turn out.
Polls showed overwhelming support for the bill, which sought to ban same-sex marriages and stop gay couples from adopting children.
But despite passing, the referendum will not be legally binding as it failed to capture more than 50pc of the electoral vote as required under Slovakian law.
Just 21.4 per cent of those registered to vote did so.
The referendum was forced by the socially conservative Alliance for Family group, which is backed by the Catholic Church.
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The group called the referendum a chance to "protect family, marriage and children".
Predominantly Catholic, Slovakia does not recognise same-sex partnerships and has already amended its constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in June 2014.
This move followed a similar referendum in Croatia, which succeeded last year.
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Romana Schlesinger, an activist for the LGBT community in Slovakia said she hoped the government would work to make it possible for same-sex couples to live in registered partnership because “our families are living without legal recognition or protection.”
Independent News Service