The right to choose is a fundamental human right. Arguably, this is being restricted due to the fact that certain groups are not allowed the right to marriage because of their sexual orientation.
In Czech Republic, same-sex marriage is illegal. Same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt, and registered partnership is the only form of same-sex relationship that’s legally recognised under the Czech government. Legalised in 2006, the partnership had to overcome some opposition from the Christian Democratic Party. The party now advocate a countering claim that marriage is defined as “the union between a man and a woman”. This rhetoric is one of the barriers that is preventing the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Czech Republic.
The same-sex marriage bill is currently making its way through the Czech parliament. The government has expressed support for the bill as it was sponsored by 46 members of parliament across different political parties [Human Rights Watch]. The 46 members are the majority. Hence it comes as surprise as to why there is, as Daniela Lazarová describes in her headline, ‘a decisive battle looming in parliament’ over the topic.
Anonymous Czech nationals were asked about what they knew, concerning the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in Czech Republic. As a way of understanding the societal norms that would, ultimately, inform the Czech government’s decisions.
Czech national 1 expressed…
“I have no problem with gay people, personally and I think things are good here for them”.
Czech national 2 explained that things could be better.
“Although there is a bill about same-sex marriage going through parliament, they already have a thing called a partnership. It’s similar to marriage but I suppose it’s not quite the same”.
Pavlína Kalousová from ‘Business for Society’ explained the working climate of the LGBTQ+ tolerance.
“I think that the general struggle that we face is that we think we are a tolerant society. Which brings a major population, together with employers, with the feeling that they don’t need to do anything for the LGBTQ community, as they don’t suffer with everyday discrimination. That’s the major consensus.”
If this is the consensus within the Czech workplace, then it is foreseeable that it conveys the Czech societal consensus towards the LGBTQ+ community. Within this context, it explains why many of the citizens that were asked about the LGBTQ+ community’s treatment felt there were no problems concerning the community, despite the fact that they are not allowed the right to marriage nor the right to adopt as a couple.
The LGBTQ+ community is not as performative in Czech Republic as it is in other countries. Not every gay bar upholds a rainbow flag. The politicians rarely consider appealing to the LGBTQ+ community during the campaigns. This lack of performance can be considered a danger to the progression of the community. The absence of commotion seems to comply with the societal attitudes that ‘there is nothing wrong’. The deprivation of a performative homosexuality perpetuates the choice to withdraw one’s self from having a conversation about same-sex marriage, much to the convenience of the Czech government.
This lack of acknowledgement connotes an indifference to the problems, leading to a lack of representation and the population not confirming the LGBTQ+ community’s problems.
A society informs the government, and so long the Czech society is indifferent and only ‘tolerant’ towards the LGBTQ+ community. The same will apply to the Czech government and there’s a danger that this indifference will prolong the ‘looming battle’ against same-sex marriage.