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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » July 25, 2012
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Deputies reject controversial bill on civil unions
July 25, 2012   
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Robert Biedron
Polish deputies Tuesday rejected proposed legislation to introduce civil unions, a decision welcomed by Poland’s powerful conservatives, who oppose same-sex partnerships, but decried by gay rights campaigners.

As both supporters and opponents of civil unions demonstrated outside parliament, deputies decided not to admit for debate two bills backed by the Palikot Movement and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), both socially liberal opposition parties.

Robert Biedron, of the Palikot Movement, Poland's only openly gay deputy, said that Tuesday's decision showed that the government "doesn't want to take action."

Witold Pahl, deputy chairman of the parliamentary legislative committee and a member of the governing Civic Platform (PO) party, said that the two rejected bills on civil partnerships had “constitutional flaws which are not capable of being removed.”

PO deputy Pawel Olszewski said that Tuesday’s decision by parliament did not mean that the Civic Platform, which includes both centrist and conservative politicians, opposes civil unions.

He said that in the autumn the PO caucus would debate a bill submitted by a Civic Platform deputy that aims to introduce civil unions allowing both gay and heterosexual couples to take out joint loans and giving them other rights, including entitlement to alimony payments.

But, unlike the legislation rejected Tuesday, it would not allow couples to file joint tax returns.
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