LGBT rights in Slovenia

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LGBT rights in Slovenia
Location of  Slovenia  (dark green)– in Europe  (light green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (light green)  –  [Legend]
Location of  Slovenia  (dark green)

– in Europe  (light green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (light green)  –  [Legend]

Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male legal since 1977,
female was never criminalized
Gender identity/expression -
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protection
(see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
Registered partnerships since 2006,
same-sex marriage since 2015
Adoption Married and committed same-sex couples allowed to adopt[1]

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Slovenia may face some challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, though the laws concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ciizens (LGBT) establish Slovenia as both the most progressive Slavic country and the most progressive country in Central Europe.

LGBT history in Slovenia[edit]

Under the Penal Code of 30 June 1959 male homosexual acts were illegal in all of (now former) Yugoslavia. During the first half of the 1970s the power over penal legislation was devolved from the Federal Republic to the eight states and provinces. A new penal code that decriminalised homosexual intercourse passed in 1976 and came into force in 1977. All discriminatory provisions were removed. There were no references to lesbian relationships in the old legislation.


Legality of same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1977.

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Registered partnership for same-sex couples has been legal since 23 July 2006, with limited inheritance, social security and next-of-kin rights.[2]

In July 2009 the Constitutional Court held that Article 22 of the Registration of Same Sex Partnerships Act (RSSPA) violated the right to non-discrimination under Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of sexual orientation, and required that the legislature remedy the established inconsistency within six months.[3][4]

In December 2009 the center-left Government put forward a new Family Code, which would envisage full equalization of same-sex unions with other family unions, gay marriage and adoptions by gay couples, and sent it into discussion at the Slovenian National Assembly. After the bill was stalled in the National Assembly for some time, a compromise version of the Code was passed in June 2011, which granted registered same-sex couples all rights of marriage, including step-child adoption, but stopped short of granting joint adoption rights and reserved the term 'marriage' as a union of 'a man and a woman'.[5] However, this law was repealed on a national referendum 2012, which means the situation is reverted to that of 2006.

In December 2014, the opposition United Left party introduced a bill amending the definition of marriage in the 1976 Marriage and Family Relations Act, expanding it to include same-sex couples.[6] On 29 January 2015, the government expressed no opposition to the bill.[7] On 10 February 2015, the Committee on Labour, Family, Social Policy and Disability of the National Assembly passed the bill 11 votes to 2 in its second reading.[8][9]

On 3 March, the Assembly passed the bill in the third reading, in a 51-28 vote.[10] On 10 March 2015, the National Council rejected a motion to require the Assembly to vote on the bill again, in a 14-23 vote.[11] Opponents of the bill launched a petition for a referendum. The petitioners have gained more than enough signatures for a referendum on the laws on same-sex marriages recently passed. The Constitutional Court is awaiting a decision whether or not to have the referendum on the laws on same-sex marriages recently passed.

Military service[edit]

Slovenia abolished mandatory military service in 2003.

Legal protections[edit]

Since 1998 discrimination on basis of sexual orientation in workplaces has been banned. The same goes for employment seekers.[12] Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is also banned in a variety of other fields, including education, housing and the provision of goods and services, with Slovenia having one of most wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws in the EU.[13] In July 2009, the Constitutional Court held that Article 14(1) of the Slovenian Constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.[3][4]

LGBT movement in Slovenia[edit]

The lesbian and gay movement has been active in Ljubljana since 1984, when MAGNUS, the gay section at ŠKUC (Students Cultural Centre, Ljubljana), was founded as the "Cultural Organisation for Socialisation of Homosexuality." A pro-lesbian feminist group, Lilit, was started in 1985, followed in 1987 by LL, a lesbian group within ŠKUC. In 1990 Magnus and LL founded the national lesbian and gay campaigning organisation, Roza Klub.

Other parts of the country have no or very few organizations regarding sexual orientation.

Social conditions[edit]

The graffiti inscription in Kranj that originally read Lezbijke na kole ("[Put] lesbians on stakes" in Slovene) and was later modified to Pred lezbijke na kolena ("Bow before the lesbians")

A Eurobarometer survey published on December 2006 showed that 31% of Slovenians surveyed support same-sex marriage and 17% recognise same-sex couples' right to adopt (EU-wide average 44% and 33%).[14] A poll conducted by Delo Stik in February 2015 showed that 59% of Slovenians surveyed supported same-sex marriage, while 38% supported adoptions by same-sex couples. The poll also gauged support for the marriage equality bill, which was debated in the National Assembly at the time. The results showed that a narrow majority (51%) of Slovenians surveyed supported the bill.[15]

Gay culture[edit]

In Ljubljana there are many gay-friendly clubs and bars. Having started with only a few, the number increases every year. At klub K4 in Ljubljana there are gay and lesbian parties (K4 ROZA) one Saturday a month. At clubs Factory and Bolivar there are gay and lesbian parties organized by Jing Jang group. Parties take place there usually once a month. Other gay-friendly bars and clubs in Ljubljana are Lan, Tiffany and Galerija.

Anti-LGBT violence[edit]

There have been numerous instances of violent gay-bashing all over Slovenia, with the most recent being the attack that occurred during a literary event at one of the famous gay bars in Ljubljana by younger males with torches. Gay activist Mitja Blažič was injured.

In 2007 in Maribor several individuals were beaten up by younger males during a Pride parade. In rural parts of Slovenia, most people are barely familiar with terms 'gay', 'lesbian', 'feminism', 'transgender', etc.[citation needed]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1977)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1977)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes (Since 1998)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes (Since 1998)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes (Since 1998)
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes (Since 2006)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2011)
Same-sex marriage Yes (Since 2015)
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes (Since 2015)
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes[16]
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]