Today, Parliament adopted the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, after it was discussed in a session on Friday. Fifty-two MPs voted for the law, three were abstentions, and no one was against.
The debate on the anti-discrimination bill, which was fast-tracked through Parliament, went against the views of the government and the opposition regarding the benefits of this legal solution, and whether the bill’s function is to protect and promote the rights and freedoms of citizens, as opposed to the protection of traditional values.
For the government, the law is European, democratic, and it promotes human rights and freedoms on all grounds, however, for the opposition it opens the possibility of redefining the definition of family, elimination of marriage as a union between a man and woman, new criteria for adoption and new curricula in schools.
Minister of Labour and Social Policy Mila Carovska explained to MPs that this is a legal solution that respects European and international standards for the protection of citizens from all kinds of discrimination.
“All grounds of discrimination are covered, and effective mechanisms for protection are established”, said Carovska, adding that the work of an expert commission for protection against discrimination will be enabled for the first time.
Earlier, the National Network for the Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia held a protest in front of Parliament and demanded that the law be passed because it has been stuck in Parliament for eight months. They condemned rhetoric used by MPs from VMRO-DPMNE at the parliamentary platform, which not only labeled marginalized communities, but openly encouraged discrimination and violence against them.