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Czech Gays Get Partner Rights
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 26, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(Prague) The upper chamber of Czech parliament voted on Thursday to grant some legal rights to same-sex partners.

Forty-five of the 65 lawmakers present in the 81-seat Senate voted in favor of the law, 14 were against. Six Senators abstained.

If approved also by President Vaclav Klaus, the legislation will allow couples who register their partnership with authorities to have inheritance and health care rights similar to those granted now to heterosexual married couples.

The law, however, does not allow marriage or adoption of children by same-sex partners.

"It's a great encouragement for us," said Jiri Hromada, a leading Czech gay activist, in response to the vote.

Hromada said he hoped the law will also be approved by the president, saying that "the law is not that controversial."

"I'm sure the president will consider all circumstances when deciding," he said.

Earlier this month, representatives of 10 Christian churches in the Czech Republic called on the Senate and the president to reject the legislation, warning that it would "weaken family life and cause chaos in values, mainly in the young generation."

© 2006

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