Belgrade, March 25, 2021
The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has submitted an official objection to the draft law on same-sex unions currently being considered by the Serbian government.
Serbia’s Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Gordana Čomić announced in November that work was underway on a draft law on homosexual unions. Among the bill’s stipulations are that same-sex unions would be legally recognized and that a same-sex partner would be allowed to inherit from their partner and to participate in medical decisions and visit partners in prison, and several other points. The bill was presented for public consultation last month.
Expressing the teaching of the Orthodox faith, the hierarchs state in their press release that the bill is “unacceptable” because it largely contradicts the Gospel of Christ and the “overall experience and practice of the Church,” which is the foundation for Serbian and European civilization.
Further, it is “inadmissible” to legally equate same-sex unions with traditional marriage, “because marital union is discriminated in this way, as a Christian and legally protected value.” At the same time, the Church respects God-given freedom and the human desire to express this freedom in different ways.
The Synod agrees that those with whom the draft law is concerned have the need to exercise to certain rights, but points out that they can be exercised administratively, “without interfering with marital and family legislation.”
The Synod concludes with a call for a dialogue to resolve “all issues of general social importance,” and this issue in particular, and expresses “the expectation that the arguments of the Serbian Orthodox Church on this issue will be respected.”