Slovenia Becomes First Country in Eastern Europe to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

Slovenia has made history as the first country in Eastern Europe to legalise same-sex marriage!

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In 1997, member of ruling left-wing party Levica Tatjana Greif recalled first proposing the legalisation of same-sex couples to the government. At the time, hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community remained rampant in Slovenia.

But at long last, a bill that legalises same-sex marriage between two same-sex adults miraculously went into full effect on 1 February 2023

An unbelievable win for Slovenia’s LGBTQ+ community

Dear Straight People,

Slovenia has made history as the first country in Eastern Europe to legalise same-sex marriage!

On the historic day of 1 February 2023, the legal recognition of same-sex marriages took full effect. Article 3 of the Family Code has been broadened to define marriage as “the union of two people for life, whose conclusion, legal consequences and termination are governed by this Code.”

According to the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, same-sex adults are allowed to adopt the partner’s children or jointly adopt with their spouse.

“Human rights are neither left nor right. They are universal and we all have them.

As societies develop, so does human rights law, which breaks down prejudices and applies to everyone.

“That is why I am happy and proud that today in Slovenia we are on the path of fully equalising the rights of same-sex partners with the rights of heterosexual couples in terms of the possibility of entering into marriage and jointly adopting a child.”

Slovenian president Nataša Pirc Musar

Change celebrated by those in systemic power

Musar is not alone in cheering on this new chapter in Slovenia’s history. 

The ruling Left party Levica and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (MDDSZ) declared February 1 a momentous day for those who have been campaigning for this change, since over three decades ago.

After several decades of struggles in this area led by civil society (including our MPs Nataša Sukič and Tatjana Greif and Minister Simon Maljevac), with persistent activist organising, and in recent years with the persistent efforts of the Left, we finally succeeded.”

Levica leader Luka Mesec. 

The MDDSZ added to the general fanfare of the occasion on Twitter. “We are glad that the amendment to the Family Code, which eliminates the unconstitutional legal distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the possibility of entering into marriage and joint adoption of a child, finally enters into force today.”

While grateful for this significant milestone for her country, Tatjana Greif also provides a necessary reminder that much still needs to be done to achieve full equality in Slovenian society and preserve these legal rights.

One can only hope the future remains bright for the LGBTQ+ community in Slovenia.

Written by Rochelle Lee


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