This week, politicians will debate whether to legalize civil partnerships for same-sex couples. There are currently three legislative projects proposing regulations on the matter, which the Sejm (the lower house of Polish parliament) will begin debate on.
Socially liberal parties Palikot’s Movement (RP) and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), have together proposed two bills, and senior government coalition partner Civic Platform (PO) has its own proposal regarding the issue. Each of the proposals would cover issues related to opposite-sex couples, as well as same-sex ones.
The main difference between the two projects proposed by RP and SLD regards the rights and responsibilities of the two partners. One specifies that both sides will decide each other’s rights and responsibilities in a notarial act, while the other one states that both partners will have the same and equal rights. They both state that the civil partnership would have to be officially registered to become legal.
The PO proposal is more flexible. It states that the partnership documents could be signed either in the presence of a Public Registry official or a notary public. It offers many of the same legal rights to same-sex couples afforded by marriage, including inheritance, pension funds, notary and medical rights. Notably lacking from the bill, however, are adoption, citizenship rights, and joint tax benefits.
It also includes alimony privileges for partners that at the end of the civil partnership find themselves in “poverty.” The alimony could be paid out for up to three years.
It’s difficult to predict whether any such law will be passed by parliament. Opposing them are right-wing parties Law and Justice and Solidarna Polska. Politicians from the Polish People’s Party, the junior coalition partner in government, have also said that they will not support any legislation that would make same-sex civil partnerships legal. There are also many conservative members of PO who are likely to oppose the proposals as well.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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