When Veronika Sediva, a 32-year-old consultant, visited the passport office in Prague two years ago to pick up documents for her partner and their son, she was turned away.
“It’s heartbreaking to be told your family is not real,” Sediva said. “That you’re not equal.”
Czech law does not officially recognize her place in the family. Should anything happen to her partner, who gave birth to their child, Sediva would have no legal right to custody, although she is also his mother.
This nightmare for parents, among other inequities, has members of parliament and activists pushing for a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. A first reading of the draft legislation in Parliament is scheduled for March 26.
The Czech Republic is already one of the most tolerant countries in Central and Eastern Europe toward the LGBT community. Large, peaceful pride events are regular features of life, and many LGBT families are protected under registered partnerships that provide some legal recognition for same-sex couples but still don’t offer taxation and property rights equal to those offered under heterosexual marriage. Under the scheme, same-sex couples do not receive equal benefits when one partner dies and are not eligible to adopt children. Some couples, like Sediva and her partner, prefer to wait for full equality. Read more via Foreign Policy