Parliament passes Civil Union Act, new judges appointed
JUCĂREȘTI, 17 March 2013 – The last week, the Assembly of Deputies (the lower chamber of the Great National Assembly) passed probably one of the most controversial bills in the history of Juclandia: after years of State’s lack of involvement in the romantic relationship between two citizens, the Coalition Government adopted the Civil Union Act 2013 which formalizes the relationship between two citizens.
Before the adoption of this new law, the only institution that formalized a relationship was the Orthodox Church of Juclandia. Nevertheless, the Church did so only as a symbolic ceremony, the marriage, a ceremony considered to be valid only in front of God and of no relationship with the State. The Civil Union Act provides for a recognition of the existence of the religious ceremony “as a symbolic ceremony made by the Orthodox Church in which a male and a female unite to form a family”. The religious service is given no state recognition, the only ceremony that state-sanctions a relationship being the civil union one.
The law provided great controversy because it avoids to mention, as it is done in most other countries, that the union is being done between different-gender spouses. Instead, it mentions that the civil union is “an act that formalizes the mutual agreement between two Juclandian citizens to form a relationship”. Being asked in regards to the wording by the Metropolitan Theodosius of Floral, member of the Assembly of Deputies, the Prime Minister responded by saying that “yes, the government acknowledges the wording. The union is indeed going to formalize the relationship between two Juclandian citizens, regardless of their attributes, including the sex”. The statement caused outrage between the MPs of the Christian Democrats, but nevertheless, the law finally passed with 21 to 4, with no abstetions.
It is predicted that the law will be rejected by the Citizens’ Assembly of Cipimania, and thus it won’t apply in that province. There have been no important reactions in the provinces of Juclandia, and there seems to be a general support in Jucărești for the new law. As of 17 March 2013, no civil unions ceremonies happened.
It is expected that among the first civil unions, one between Gori Jucărescu and Pisica Democrescu will be formalized as well, with newspapers in Juclandia claiming that there is a relationship between the two politicians. Several investigations were published in Timpul and Universul, while Adevărul (the newspaper of the Royal House) accused the two newspapers of slander.
While the Coalition Government continues its work on reforming the Juclandian society, the opposition starts to gain a much more influential voice over the projects of the government, and some claim that Leader of the Opposition Iepurica Democrescu plans to attack some of the laws passed by the Populescu Cabinet at the High Court of Cassation and Justice. The Court was refreshed the last week as well, when the 6-month terms given by the Council of State to 4 judges expired. The new judges have a lot of work to do in the next 6 months, and a lot of pressure is expected to be put upon them, from both the Government and the Opposition. His Majesty Ciprian stated however that as Monarch, “[he] will do everything that [he] can to protect the independence of the judicial branch of the Government”.