3 Feb 2023

Slovenia officially becomes first eastern European country to recognise same-sex marriage

Following an initial court ruling, Marriage Equality legislation has now been enacted.


Slovenia has become the first Eastern European country to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption, following a court ruled they were constitutional rights.
On Tuesday (4 October), Slovenia’s parliament passed the amendment, making it the very first Eastern European country to equalise marriage and adoption laws for same-sex couples.
The ruling comes at a time when Slovenia’s neighbouring countries are imposing strict new anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
The historic moment follows a decision by Slovenia’s top court in July, which found that banning same-sex marriage and adoption violated the country’s constitution, which prohibits discrimination.
The court’s judges ruled 6-3 on both issues, just a month after the left-wing Golob Cabinet took power following the 2022 presidential election, replacing the far-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS).
Rights same-sex couples ‘should have had for a long time’
The court said at the time that the ruling “does not diminish the importance of traditional marriage as a union of a man and a woman, nor does it change conditions under which persons of the opposite sex marry”, according to EuroNews.
More from PinkNews
Stars you didn’t know are LGBT+
Celebs you didn’t know have an LGBT sibling
The stars who went gay for pay
Slovenia’s parliament passed the amendment with 48 MPs voting for it, 29 voting against, and one MP abstaining. Most opposition came from the SDS.
State secretary Simon Maljevac said while presenting the amendment: “With these changes, we are recognising the rights of same-sex couples that they should have had for a long time.”
The legalisation of same-sex marriage and adoption puts Slovenia at odds with its Eastern European neighbours, with countries likely Hungary and Poland becoming more and more hostile towards their queer citizens.
Last year, Hungary passed a so-called ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda law’ that bans the discussion of LGBTQ+ people in media, school materials and advertisements aimed at minors, and the country’s leader, Viktor Orbán, has overseen the banning of same-sex adoption, the ending of legal gender recognition for trans people and the redefinition of marriage in the country’s constitution as the union between one man and one woman.
In Poland, which passed its own ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda law’ earlier this year, president Andrzej Duda has ensured that the country is among the most homophobic countries in Europe, according to equality rights rankings, with its patchwork of “LGBT-free zones“.


Slovenia's Parliament has enacted changes to the country's Family Code that have now delivered Marriage Equality for same-sex couples.

The legislative change follows a recent court decision that found that not allowing same-sex couples to marry was a violation of the anti-discrimination provisions of Slovenia's constitution.

Speaking about the changes to the Family Code, the President of Slovenia - Nataša Pirc Musar - said: “Human rights are neither left nor right. They are universal and we all have them. Above all, they are never taken for granted, you have to fight for them every day. As societies develop, so does human rights law, which breaks down prejudices and applies to everyone. That is why I am happy and proud that today in Slovenia we are on the path of fully equalising the rights of same-sex partners with the rights of heterosexual couples in terms of the possibility of entering into marriage and jointly adopting a child.”

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Slovenia?

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Slovenia? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.

Is homosexuality legal in Slovenia?

Yes. Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 1977.

The age of consent is 15, regardless of sexuality.

Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Slovenia?

Yes. A court decision in 2009 confirmed that the country’s constitution bans discrimination on the basis of sexuality.

Is there Marriage Equality in Slovenia?

Yes. Legal recognition of same-sex relationships was introduced in 2006. Following a subsequent court ruling, legislation was enacted in 2023 that delivered Marriage Equality for same-sex couples.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Slovenia?

Slovenia is a socially conservative country, but things to do seem to be slowly improving..There is a visible and vibrant LGBTQ community in Ljubljana.