The Slovak Spectator reported the referendum on the proposals failed because only 21.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.
Slovak law required at least 50 percent turnout in order for a referendum to prove valid.
Pope Francis endorsed referendum
The referendum took place nearly a year after Slovak lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage in the Central European country as a “unique bond between a man and a woman.”
Pope Francis last week urged Slovak voters to support the marriage and gay adoption amendments. Billboards highlighting the pontiff’s position appeared throughout the country ahead of the failed referendum.
“The referendum showed that people consider the family important, but that they do not see the same-sex families as a threat to traditional families,” Martin Macko, executive director of Inakost, a Slovak LGBT advocacy group, told the Washington Blade.
“Despite attempts by anti-equality campaigners and various organizations (from both inside and outside Slovakia) to marginalize LGBTI families, the majority of the Slovakian public rejected their controversial tactics,” said ILGA-Europe in a statement. “Today’s result confirms that the electorate saw through the homophobic propaganda and were not willing to be part of a movement that discriminates against their fellow citizens.”
Same-sex couples are able to legally marry in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Scotland and Iceland.
Finnish lawmakers last November narrowly approved a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to legally marry in the country. A referendum on whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Ireland is slated to take place in May.
The Austrian Constitutional Court last month extended joint adoption rights to same-sex couples.
Macedonian lawmakers in January overwhelmingly approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman in the former Yugoslav republic. Croatian voters in December 2013 overwhelmingly backed a similar gay nuptials ban.
Hungary and Latvia also define marriage in their countries’ respective constitutions as between a man and a woman.
“From our point of view, Slovakia is prepared to adopt specific legislation for legal recognitions of same-sex couples,” Macko told the Blade. “There have been several proposals regarding this issue, some of which have already been discussed in parliament.”