Slovenia has begun voting in a referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage.

 

Polling stations opened at 7am on the 20th December, with more than 1.7 million people registered to cast their ballot throughout the day.

The referendum has sparked a heated debate in the largely Catholic European country, formerly part of the Yugoslavia Republic.

In March, Slovenia’s parliament redefined marriage as a “union of two”, as opposed to a “union of a man and a woman”, thereby granting same-sex couples equal rights.

However, Children Are At Stake, opponents of the legislation, gathered the 40,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum, meaning that the legislation change never came into force.

Pope Francis has addressed the issue directly, encouraging Slovenians to “support the family, a structural reference point for the life of society”.

A poll released by state television on Friday gave the “No” vote 55.5 percent support, with a projected turnout of 46 percent.

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