PRAGUE -- Czech President Milos Zeman stated Tuesday that he will veto any legislation that would allow same-sex couples to have civil marriages in his country, provided it is approved by parliament.
The Czech Parliament's lower chamber submitted Tuesday the bill that was drafted by representatives from all political parties. However, no date has been given for its commencement.
It is strongly opposed both by the Christian Democrats (a member of the five-party coalition governing the government) and the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (an anti-migrant and antimuslim populist party).
Zeman, who met with Katalin Novak in Hungary, said Tuesday that he would veto any law he received.
Zeman pointed out that the Czech state allows civil unions between same-sex couples. "But a family can be a union between a male and female." It's over.
The presidential veto can be overridden by a majority of the lower house lawmakers. The Czech presidency is a largely ceremonial position.
Similar legislation was already being discussed in Parliament in 2018, but it wasn't up for a vote before the general election last year, so it had to be submitted again.
Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in 30 countries around the world, including most of Western Europe.
Czech Parliament approved a 2006 law that allowed same-sex couples to live together in an officially registered partnership. They have the same rights to inheritance and health benefits as heterosexual married couples.
Although these arrangements provide some protections for marriage, many LGBTQ activists view them as a second-tier status.