Poland expected to legislate civil partnerships for same-sex couples

Last week, the ruling party in Poland announced plans to introduce legislation that would allow same-sex couples to engage in civil partnerships, which extend to same-sex couples some - but far from all - of the protections that marriage provides.

Gay Star News reported on the potential legislation in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country earlier this weekend:

The bill includes a range of benefits which currently are only granted to married heterosexual couples, including protections and responsibilities, inheritance, pension funds, notary, and medical rights. Joint tax benefits and adoption rights are not included in the bill.

The [Platforma Obywatelska] is the country's largest party and its intention to put the draft bill to the vote surprised many political commentators as the party opposed last year in a parliamentary vote a similar draft bill introduced by left wing parties.

This means that there is a chance for parliamentary majority necessary for the bill to pass into law.

Although civil partnerships are not the same as marriages and denote a separate class of relationship respect for same-sex couples, they represent a step toward fairness for all families and are obviously preferable to a complete restriction of protections for same-sex couples and their families.  

The move in Poland is the latest in a series of steps forward in the international campaign to win marriage for all couples. In France, the recently elected government has pledged that same-sex couples would be able to share in the freedom to marry at some point in 2013, while provinces and states in Australia and New Zealand are inching closer to marriage every week. In England, advocates have expressed outspoken support, and yesterday in Ireland, the Dublin City Council passed a resolution proposing to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. 

Read more about the freedom to marry internationally HERE.