LGBT rights in Slovenia

LGBT rights in Slovenia

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
Partnership since 2006
Adoption No

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 citizens (LGBT) have evolved considerably over time.

LGBT history in Slovenia

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

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1977.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Registered partnership for same-sex couples has been legal since 23 July 2006, with limited inheritance, social security and next-of-kin rights.[1]

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.[2][3]

On 3 March 2015, the Assembly passed the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a 51-28 vote.[4] 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.[5] Opponents of the bill launched a petition for a referendum. The petitioners have gained more than enough signatures for a referendum. On 22 October 2015, in a 5-4 vote, the Constitutional Court ruled the National Assembly could not interpret the constitution and that the vote to block the referendum was illegal.[6] The referendum took place on 20 December 2015 and the bill was rejected.[7]

On 21 April 2016, the Assembly approved the bill to give same-sex partnerships all rights of marriage, except adoption and in vitro fertilisation.[8] A petition for a referendum was launched, but the president of the Assembly didn't allow the referendum. He said that it was an abuse of the referendum law. The law took effect on 24 May 2016 and would be operational on 24 February 2017.[9][10]

Legal protections

Since 1998 discrimination on basis of sexual orientation in workplaces has been banned. The same goes for employment seekers.[11] 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 the most wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws in the EU.[12] In July 2009, the Constitutional Court held that Article 14(1) of the Slovenian Constitution bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.[2][3]

On 17 February 2016, the government introduced new anti-discrimination bill, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, among others. It was approved by the National Assembly on 21 April, in a 50-17 vote.[13][14] The National Council did not require the Assembly to vote on the bill again. On 28 April, the union of migrant workers SDMS filed a motion, with required 2,500 signatures, in order to be allowed to proceed with the petition for referendum.[15][16][17] However, on 5 May, the Speaker of the National Assembly Milan Brglez refused to set a thirty-five-day deadline during which the proposers could collect 40,000 valid signatures to force the referendum, arguing that this and several other SDMS referendum initiatives constitutes an abuse of the referendum laws.[18][19] He sent the bill for promulgation the next day.[20][21] It was promulgated by President Borut Pahor and published in the official journal on 9 May 2016.[22][23] On 10 May, SDMS challenged the Brglez's decision to the Constitutional Court.[24]

Public opinion

A Eurobarometer survey published in December 2006 showed that 31% of Slovenians surveyed support same-sex marriage and 17% think homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children (EU-wide average 44% and 33%).[25]

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 same-sex marriage 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.[26]

LGBT movement in Slovenia

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

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")

Gay culture

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

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.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal (Since 1977)
Equal age of consent (Since 1977)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only (Since 1998)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services (Since 1998)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) (Since 1998)
Same-sex marriage
Recognition of same-sex couples (Since 2006)
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples
Joint adoption by same-sex couples
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military
Right to change legal gender [27]
Access to IVF for lesbians
Conversion therapy on LGBT minors outlawed
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples
MSMs allowed to donate blood

See also


  1. 1 2 (Slovene) U-I-425/06
  2. 1 2 Constitutional Court of Slovenia Upholds Equal Rights for Same Sex Partners
  3. Slovenian parliament votes to legalise same-sex marriage
  4. (Slovene) Državni svet ni izglasoval veta na zakon o družinskih razmerjih
  6. Marriage equality voted down in referendum
  7. (Slovene) Državni zbor sprejel zakon o partnerski zvezi
  8. (Slovene) Zakon o partnerski zvezi
  9. New civil unions act enters into force
  10. Ales Pecnik of Roza Klub Ljubljana, 14 April 1999
  11. Report on Homophobia, European Fundamental Rights Agency, p. 26
  12. (Slovene) 1041-VII Zakon o varstvu pred diskriminacijo
  13. Parliament establishes independent equality advocat
  14. (Slovene) 1041-VII Pobuda volivcem za vložitev zahteve za razpis referenduma v zvezi z Zakonom o varstvu pred diskriminacijo 28.04.2016
  15. (Slovene) Delavci migranti vložili referendumske pobude še za tri zakone
  16. (Slovene) Predstavniki delavcev migrantov v DZ vložili referendumske pobude še za tri zakone (daljše)
  17. (Slovene) 1041-VII Odločitev predsednika Državnega zbora o nedoločitvi roka za zbiranje podpisov volivcev 05.05.2016
  18. (Slovene) Brglez je zavrnil še tri referendumske pobude. Odbor 2014 protestiral pred DZ-jem.
  19. (Slovene) 1041-VII Dopis predsedniku Republike Slovenije 06.05.2016
  20. (Slovene) 1041-VII Dopis Uradnemu listu
  21. (Slovene) Uradni list RS, št. 33/2016 z dne 9. 5. 2016
  22. (Slovene) Objavljeni zakoni, za katere so delavci migranti predlagali referendume
  23. (Slovene) Delavci migranti so vložili ustavno pritožbo nad Brglezovo odločitev
  24. "Večina podpira istospolne poroke, do posvojitev je zadržana". RTV Slovenia (in Slovenian). 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  25. Weber, Nana (April 25, 2013). "Sprememba spola v Sloveniji". Pravna praksa (in Slovenian). GV Založba (16-17). ISSN 0352-0730.
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