(Prague) A bill to create a domestic partner registry for gay and lesbian couples passed the lower house of the Czech Republic on Friday.
The legislation would give same-sex couples many of the same rights as marriage, including inheritance and the ability to make health care decisions for ailing partners.
It does not, however, permit same-sex couples to adopt children.
Eighty-six of the 147 deputies present voted in favor of the draft, 54 were against and seven abstained from the vote.
Most of the deputies for the Social Democrats and Communists voted in favor of the draft, while Christian Democrats and deputies of the center-right Civic Democratic Party opposed it.
Parliament turned down similar proposals five times in the past. It was rejected by a majority of just one vote in the last vote on the issue in February.The draft still needs approval by the Senate and the president to become valid.
If enacted, the legislation would allow couples who register their partnership with authorities to have rights to inheritance and health care that are similar to those granted now to heterosexual married couples.