‘It Is All about Our Children’: ‘Gender Theory’ Vs. ‘Marriage Equality’ in Slovenia

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Assembly F (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
Roman Kuhar , University of Ljubljana
The preliminary analysis of the role of the Roman Catholic Church during the Family Code debate in Slovenia (2009 – 2012) suggests an important change in the strategies the Church has been using in the policy debates on sexual citizenship. The Church is increasingly ‘secularizing’ its image and discourse ito address the widest audiences possible. Furthermore it fosters and supports conservative civil initiatives, which give out similar messages as the Church, but can reach those people who believe that the Church has no (moral) credibility anymore due to its sexual and economic scandals. 

Although ‘gender theory’ was not often mentioned during the Family Code debate, the term literally exploded in 2014, when the government adopted marriage equality legislation after the Family Code was rejected on a public referendum in 2012. The Civil initiative Za otroke gre!  started to frame their arguments against marriage equality in terms of ‘gender ideology’; gender was constructed as an all-invasive weapon in the hands of radical homosexual activists and feminists.

This paper maps out and explores the emergence, the content and the effects of the ‘gender ideology’ discourse in the context of both Family Code debate (2009 – 2012) and Marriage Equality debate (2014 – ongoing) in Slovenia. It analyzes how gender ideology is a new chapter in the battle against human rights of LGBT-persons, in which language and concepts, which were until recently used by the proponents of gender equality and human rights of LGBT-persons, are now (ab)used by conservative actors.

  • Philadelphia conference - Kuhar.pdf (402.9 kB)