Message from Minister Luka Mesec on the occasion of the Pride Parade
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the “mineral water drinking protest” – a political action by members of the LGBT community that gave birth to the first Pride Parade in this country.
The scandal at the Galerija bar, where a guard dismissed two gay activists, saying that “we should get used to the fact that the bar is no longer for this kind of people”, provoked a protest by members of the LGBT community, who organised the so-called "mineral water drinking protest". This took place for the next few Fridays.
Despite expectations that city authorities would condemn the act, this did not happen, so activists organised the first spontaneous Pride Parade in Slovenia called “Bypassing Intolerance – March Against Homophobia”.
The question of why we need a Pride Parade is redundant. As long as there are politicians, public figures and others pointing fingers and denigrating all those who do not fit their ideas of how they should live and where they should come from, there will be a need for Pride Parades.
Although gender and sexual orientation should be irrelevant when it comes to obtaining rights, we face discrimination and violations of the LGBTQIA+ community’s rights all the time. Today we can be proud of the journey we have made since 2001, a journey that is not yet complete, but still.
Same-sex couples have been able to register a civil partnership since 2006 and to enter into a civil union since 2017. This was achieved after years of effort, including two referendum campaigns.
Until last year, marriage and the subsequent possibility of initiating the adoption process remained the exclusive right of opposite-sex couples.
Last year we took a big step towards equality.
In 2022, the amendment to the Family Code drafted at this Ministry recognised that diversity must not lead to discrimination. Same-sex couples were granted what they should have been granted a long time ago.
This was not the end of the world that some warned us about. Nothing was taken away from anyone; instead, rights were extended to those who did not yet have them.
To name but a few concrete positive consequences: recognition of sick leave, inheritance, rights of dependents, etc. Those are the rights that same-sex couples did not have before.
I will be taking part in the Pride Parade again this year. As a minister and also as a supporter.