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  • August 2014: State-Church Relation

After the Institute for Sociology of Slovak Academy of Sciences published the results of survey on opinions about relations of the state and churches and on the role of the churches and priests in public life in August 2014, the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia set off a discrediting campaign against the objectiveness of the survey and after that announced that in case of a separation of church and state would insist on further property restitution from the state.

  • 4th July 2014: Amendment of the Slovak Constitution, article 41, section 1 on marriage

Amendment of the Slovak Constitution, article 41, section 1 on marriage: members of the ruling SMER-Social Democracy party supported by the opposing Christian Democratic Movement enforced change in the Constitution of the Slovak Republic: „Marriage is a unique union between a man and a woman. It is generally protected by the Slovak Republic, which contributes to its good. Marriage, parenthood and the family are under the protection of the law. The special protection of children and minors is guaranteed“.

  • May 2014: Referendum for the financial separation of Church and State

On 6th May, a petition was initiated to hold a referendum for the financial separation of Church and State. It was co-organized by a small Civic Left Party, which also nominated a (unsuccessful) candidate in the elections into the European parliament. Nevertheless, after the petition officially started no other activities of the organizing committee were observed. Also, there are no petition results known.

  • April 2014: Catholic petition against same-sex marriage

Alliance for Family (Aliancia za rodinu), a Catholic non-governmental organization initiated a petition for a referendum to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, to let parents decide about sexual education, about cultural and ethical issues and euthanasia, to forbid homosexual couples the adoption of children and to ban homosexual union from gaining the status of marriage. On 27 August 2014, organizers submitted the President more than 350 000 required signatures with the aim to organize the referendum along with local government elections to be held in November 2014. However, the President asked the Constitutional Court for an interpretation if such a referendum does not contravene the Constitution of the Slovak Republic.

  • March 2014: Religion and elections

Religion turned out to be a significant issue in the direct election campaign for the Slovak president (first round on 15 March 2014 and second on 29 March 2014). Former member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and the current Prime Minister Robert Fico talked in his pre-election campaign about his Catholic childhood and with a support from the media called his rival Andrej Kiska, who was then elected a president, a scientologist. Kiska took it long to urgently dissociate himself from it. This campaign started an intense public discussion on sects and their threats and manipulation. Debates stopped after the election campaign ended.

Some of the results of this survey given for a press conference are available on line (in Slovak), and parts of the campaign agains the results are also available (in Slovak).

D 24 September 2014    AMiroslav Tížik

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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