Bosnia Takes First Step to Regulate Same-Sex Partnerships

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04/15/2020

The government of one of Bosnia’s two entities – the Federation – has appointed a working group to draft legislation that would regulate the rights of same-sex couples, taking the first tentative step towards addressing an issue that has faced fierce, sometimes violent, opposition from conservatives in the Balkan country. Bosnia’s record on LGBT rights is poor; same-sex partnerships are not legally recognised in either of its two entities, while participants in LGBT events have faced abuse and violence on more than one occasion. In September last year, under tight security, Sarajevo finally held its first Pride march, making it the last European capital to do so. Sead Lisak, chair of the interdepartmental working group, said the working group would hold its first session in April, and would meet with civil society organisations working on issues affecting same-sex couples in the mainly Bosniak-Croat, semi-autonomous Federation. It follows a request from the Federation Interior Ministry for the government to regulate the rights of same-sex couples in response to a demand from couples who had registered their partnerships abroad. No similar initiative has been put forward in Bosnia’s other entity, the mainly Serb Republika Srpska.

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