Slovak Family Referendum: too low turnout, but a very clear message

Slovakia-EU-flag-1600x500Nearly 95% of those participating in the referendum agree that no union that is not between one man and one woman can by law be defined as a marriage. Similarly high is the support for the other two statements: 92% agree that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children, and 90% find that sex ed classes in public schools should not be compulsory.

The referendum will, however, not have a legally binding effect, because with 21.4% the turnout of the electorate was (rather far) below the 50% that would have been required.

Of course, a higher turnout might have given additional weight to the very clear message sent by this referendum. It is foreseeable that the “gay rights” lobby in politics and media will now gleefully point to this low turnout and maybe even try to interpret the outcome as an endorsement of same-sex “marriage” or gay adoption. Such attempts to misread the will of the electorate would of course be frivolous. The truth is:

  • This referendum gave all citizens an equal chance to express themselves. Those who voted YES may make up only around 20% of the population – but those voting NO were just below 1%. In other words, less than 1% of Slovak citizens express support for same-sex “marriage” or gay adoption.
  • The seemingly low turnout of voters is not so low if compared to voter turnout at recent elections. For example, the turnout of Slovak voters at last year’s European election was below 14%. The turnout at the 2012 National elections was 59%, and at the 2009 Presidential elections it was 44%.
  • Thus, the realistic conclusion that can be drawn from this referendum is that an overwhelming majority of Slovak citizens is happy with the current legal situation (i.e., no same-sex “marriages”, no gay adoption), whereas only a very small proportion of the situation isn’t.

This is just the outcome one might have expected. Actually, in no country where currently same-sex “marriages” are on the statute books has their introduction been requested by the people.

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