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International Highlights 5/7/21

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Photo courtesy of the US Embassy
Photo courtesy of the US Embassy

Reuters reported on April 29 that the Czech Republic has taken steps toward passing a bill that would shore up the rights of same-sex couples and put them on more equal footing. Although same-sex marriage has been legal in the country since 2006, same-sex couples have still faced disparate legal obstacles in matters such as child adoption and property rights. The bill in question would amend the Civil Code to define marriage as a union of "two persons," rather than just "a man and a woman." At the same time, a "counter-bill" in progress aims to make marriage between a man and a woman protected by law.

The Guardian reported on April 28 on Switzerland's referendum on whether or not to "push ahead" with same-sex marriage, which comes after a "cross-party initiative" that ran on a slogan calling same-sex marriage fake and unnatural. The initiative was likely a response to a bill that passed in December, which formally recognized same-sex marriage, and granted lesbian couples access to sperm banks. Since the referendum was announced, several groups have rallied to keep the December bill in place. Operation Libero launched a petition stating the importance of same-sex marriage, which has gathered over 100,000 signatures. A survey taken by Pink Cross reported that 82% of respondents support same-sex marriage.