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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hungary court strikes down same-sex partnership law
Jaclyn Belczyk at 11:10 AM ET

[JURIST] The Hungarian Constitutional Court [official website] on Monday struck down a law that would have given certain rights to same-sex couples, ruling that it diminishes the importance of marriage. The law, passed last year [JURIST report], would have recognized civil partnerships between same-sex couples and unmarried couples, giving them the same inheritance, tax, and financial rights as married heterosexual couples. The law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2009. After the ruling was handed down, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany [official profile] asked the Justice Minister to draft new legislation [Nepszava report, in Hungarian] that would comport with the court's decision while providing benefits to domestic partners.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] per se is not recognized in any of Europe's former eastern-bloc states, although the Czech Republic and Slovenia do recognize registered same-sex partnerships. In February 2006, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus vetoed a bill [JURIST report] that would have provided same-sex partners with access to medical information, property inheritance, and the right to raise children equal to that of married couples, among other things. Klaus said that the bill extended "state interventions into people's lives." The Czech Republic eventually legalized same-sex partnerships [Radio Prague report] in July 2006.

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