Czech lawmakers to debate bill to allow same-sex marriage

PRAGUE (AP) — The lower house of the Czech Parliament is set to begin debating a bill that could give same-sex couples the right to marry.

The bill was drafted by a group of lawmakers across the political spectrum. It is supported by the coalition center-left government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

A number of European nations have legalized same-sex marriage, most recently Austria, but the Czech Republic could become the first post-Communist member of the European Union to do so.

In 2006, Parliament approved a law allowing same-sex partners to live in an officially registered partnership and have rights to inheritance and health care similar to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That law, however, does not allow same-sex partners to marry and to adopt children as a couple.

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