The Czech Republic is considered one of the most liberal Central European countries with regards to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights. In 2006 it legalized registered partnerships (registrované partnerství) for same-sex couples.
Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1962. The age of consent was equalized in 1990 (to 15 – it had previously been 18 for homosexuals). The Army doesn’t question the sexual orientation of soldiers, and allows homosexuals to serve openly. Homosexual prostitution was decriminalized in 1990.
There is some legal recognition of same-sex couples. Unregistered cohabitation has been possible since 2001. The Czech Republic has granted “persons living in a common household” inheritance and succession rights in housing.
A bill legalizing registered partnership, with some of the rights of marriage, was rejected four times, in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2005. However, on 16 December 2005 a new registered partnership bill was passed by the Czech House of Representatives; it was also adopted by the Senate on 26 January 2006, but later vetoed by the President. On 15 March 2006 the President’s veto was overturned by the House of Representatives and the law came into force on 1 July 2006. Since this date, the Czech Republic allows registered partnerships for same-sex couples, with most of the rights of marriage.
Since 1999, sexual orientation has been treated as a private matter, technically not grounds for discrimination in the military. The 2001 national Labour Code also provides anti-discrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation, in line with European Union guidelines.
In 2009, a comprehensive anti-discrimination law was passed which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, education, housing and access to goods and services.