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Monday, 26 March 2012

Slovenians reject gay adoption law in referendum

Slovenians rejected in a national referendum on Sunday a new family law that included a highly contested clause that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children in some cases.

The law drafted by Slovenia's former center-left government - and opposed by conservatives close to the Catholic Church - would have allowed gay couples to adopt the biological children of their partners. It did not allow the adoption of children from a third party.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, about 55 percent of those who took part in the referendum rejected the law, while about 45 supported it, the state referendum commission said. Turnout was low, about 26 percent.

The result meant that the new family law will not be applied and a new one cannot be drafted within a year.

Unlike its Balkan neighbors, Serbia and Croatia - where gays often face verbal and physical abuse - the small Alpine nation and European Union member is relatively tolerant of homosexuality. In 2006, Slovenia allowed official registration of same-sex relationships.

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