Inside the long battle to open up marriage to same-sex couples in the Czech Republic. Despite the fact that Czech public opinion is massively in favour of marriage equality, the brave (and very patient) activists have to battle conservative politicians, the church and violent right-wing extremists.
It’s 2018 and Czeslaw Walek and his fellow-activist of Jsme Fér (‘We are fair’) are collecting signatures for the Marriage Equality Bill. They far exceed the minimal number of signatories, which gives them the right to a hearing in the Chamber of Deputies. But after this flying start, a long period of stalling and aggressive opposition is ahead.
Simultaneous with their petition, a conservative group defending ‘traditional values’ launches its own petition to make marriage heterosexual by law. Both inside and outside Parliament, Walek and the others go head-to-head with these conservative forces. They have to defend themselves against ridiculous accusations (‘How can you guarantee people are not going to marry their dog?’ a man asks at a hearing) and bravely walk past neo-Nazis at a Pride March. ‘It takes time and change will come,’ Walek’s Dutch husband consoles him. But one thing is clear: they will have to be very patient.