Slovenia passes same-sex marriage law

LJUBLJANA -- Slovenia has passed a law legalizing same-sex marriages but put restrictions on the ceremony.

The measure allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their partnership went into effect Sunday.

However, Slovenia's gay and lesbian organizations, while welcoming the move as a concrete step, criticized the law as "insufficient."

The law limits the number of those attending marriage ceremonies to two partners and a local community registration official. No friends, relatives or any third person are allowed to attend the ceremony, which can be held only in a state office.

Same-sex partners must register 30 days in advance, submitting documents proving they are sane, healthy and unmarried.

Earlier this month, the Czech Republic became the first post-communist country to allow same-sex marriages.