Slovakia holds referendum on gay rights in catholic country

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) Slovaks are voting in a nationwide a referendum that would bar gay marriages and adoptions, and allow parents to decide whether their children attend sex education classes.

In a nation where more than 60 percent of the 5.4 million people are Roman Catholics, the ''yes'' side is confident of getting most of the votes.

But the votes won't count unless at least half of the eligible voters turn out, something which has happened in only one of the previous seven referendums since 1993, when Slovakia became independent.

The vote was forced by a conservative group, the Alliance for Family.

Slovakia doesn't allow same-sex partners to live in registered partnerships and the country's constitution was amended last year to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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