>Czech Christian Democrats on the new Czech civil partnership law

Odd how Czech social conservatives couch their arguments in the language of liberalism and the defence a liberal state against sectional and vested interest, rather than more straightforwardly conservative arguments about ‘natural’ social forms, Christian and national values etc. Christian Democratic deputy (and former Justice Minister – when a member of the liberal Freedom Union, if I remember rightly) Vlasta Parkanová, for example, argued that the new Czech law on registered partnership will open up ‘a Pandora’s box of minority demands’, anticipating that Muslims in the Czech Republic (tiny in number) could legitimately claim the legalization of polygamy. Christian Democratic lawyer Oldřich Chodeř played to popular prejudices more directly and combine elements of liberal and conservative discourses more succinctly, claiming that the law was a violation of children’s rights as ‘a child has a right to grow up in a normal family environment’ (Lidové noviny, 16 March). Interestingly, the law was passed (and President Klaus’s veto overridden) partly thanks to hefty numbers of votes from Czech Communist deputies, known more for their hardline anti-capitalism, anti-German nationalism and nostalgia for many aspects of the old one-party regime than commitment to recognising diversity –
their latest unlikely contribution to Czech politics since helping elect Klaus President in the first place three years ago.

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