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ADF to Slovak Court: Allow citizens to affirm their values at ballot box

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KOŠICE, Slovakia – Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday with the Slovak Constitutional Court as it considers whether to allow a pro-family referendum by the Slovak Alliance for Family to move forward.

More than 400,000 citizens signed the petition for the referendum. That number surpasses the constitutionally required minimum of 350,000 signatures, but Slovak President Andrej Kiska asked the Constitutional Court to weigh in because of a provision in the country’s constitution that forbids holding a referendum to change “fundamental rights and liberties.” The ADF brief explains that the proposed referendum is not subject to that provision because it only affirms or enhances existing law.

“The people of Slovakia should have the freedom to preserve marriage and family if they so choose,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “This referendum will allow Slovaks to affirm current Slovak law and important social values, which is perfectly acceptable under the Slovak Constitution.”

Most Slovaks support the referendum, and there’s no valid constitutional reason to prevent them from voting on it.

The petition that Slovak Alliance for Family submitted to Kiska asks him to call a referendum on vital marriage and family issues. The referendum affirms and reinforces three main issues: the definition of a marriage as a union of one man and one woman, a requirement that adoptive parents be married to provide the best environment for the children involved, and protecting marriage by preventing registered partnerships that imitate marriage. A fourth issue the referendum addresses, allowing parents to opt out their children from sex education classes taught at public schools, is not current law but enhances existing parental rights in the context of education.

The ADF brief explains that the proposed referendum questions are aimed at affirming current Slovak law on marriage, family, and parental rights. The brief argues that the Slovak people should have the freedom to decide these issues. It also outlines the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice concerning marriage, family, and parental rights.

“Most Slovaks support the referendum, and there’s no valid constitutional reason to prevent them from voting on it,” said ADF-allied attorney Daniel Lipsic. “We hope the Constitutional Court will affirm the democratic freedom of the people to affirm existing law.”

Pronunciation guide: Košice (Ko-SHITZ’-eh), Kiska (KISH’-kuh)

ADF International is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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