The center-right ruling party in Poland, Platforma Obywatelska, is planning to introduce a law recognizing civil partnerships for same-sex couples, reports GayStarNews. The proposed legislation would offer many of the same legal rights to same-sex couples afforded by marriage, including inheritance, pension funds, notary and medical rights. Notably lacking from the bill, however, are adoption, citizenship rights, and joint tax benefits.
Bill author Arthur Dunin told a Polish radio station that his bill is in fact quite conservative. "It is very important for us [as a party] to reach marriage on a pedestal," Dunin told Radio One. "There is no way to equate marriage with an affiliate."
Radio One reports the bill will be formally introduced next week in Poland's Parliament. The introduction has surprised many, since last year the PO opposed a similar relationship recognition bill presented by the Democratic Left Alliance party.
The bill is being met with fierce opposition in the staunchly Catholic nation. Opponents, who label civil partnerships "psuedo-marriage," warn that the legislation will undermine the institution of marriage.
Poland's constitution defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but the Eastern European country has made strides toward LGBT inclusion in recent years. In 2011, Poland elected its first openly transgender politician, Member of Parliament Anna Grodzka. In 2010, Poland hosted its first EuroPride gay pride festival.