The Cabinet approved a draft law on Monday which - if passed by parliament - would give homosexual partners the same legal rights as married couples, with the exception of raising children and sharing a common surname. But while Czech society is extremely tolerant - some might say apathetic - when it comes to sexual matters, two similar bills have already been defeated in parliament. They failed largely due to efforts by the right-of-centre Christian Democrats - the country's only religious political party - who bitterly oppose legalisation of same-sex marriage on moral grounds. But as discovered when she spoke to sex therapist Petr Weiss, it's probably only a matter of time before the law is passed.
The issue of race relations and attacks on the Roma minority by Neo Nazi skinheads is a tense and emotional one in the Czech Republic. The decision by a court in Eastern Moravia on Thursday to dismiss a case against three youths charged with an arson attack on a Roma household, could further weaken faith in the ability of the Czech authorities to crack down on racially motivated crime. has this report.
Part of the effort mentioned above to educate Czech society and involve citizens is a project called the 'Spolecna Jizda', or 'Common Journey.' For the last 12 months, an ethnically-mixed group of students has been travelling round the country, talking to secondary school pupils about racism and xenophobia. has this report:
The District Court in the town of Trebic has reached a verdict in the case of 12 men who attacked a hamlet near the town of Trebic in South Moravia inhabited mostly by Romani families. But, as reports, the verdict will be wearily familiar to those following the prosecution of racist crimes in the Czech Republic.
Representatives of the International Romany Union, or the IRU, met with Czech President Vaclav Havel on Thursday to explain why they want the Roma to be recognized as a nation. There are some twelve million Roma living throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and calls from within the Roma community for recognition as a people have been mounting for some time now. has this report:
After four decades of living in the closet, homosexuals in post-communist states are fighting for their place in the sun. Ironically, it seems that while the general public is by and large tolerant and sympathetic, some of the most serious hurdles on the way to gay rights are erected by politicians. This is true of the Czech Republic, and recent developments have shown that it is also true of neighbouring Slovakia, the Czech Republic's one-time federal partner. has the story:
The World Congress of the International Roma Union that was held in Prague this week has certainly made plenty of progress, with a new statute requesting the recognition of a Roma nation, a call for Germany to issue an apology for the Roma Holocaust, and the election a of new president of the organisation. has the details:
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