The parliament of North Macedonia adopted on Monday the law on the prevention and protection against discrimination after long debates between the ruling coalition and opposition parties.

The law was passed with 52 votes in favor and three abstentions.

The lawmakers of the ruling coalition parties discussed and had clashes with the opposition parties on the benefits arising from the law. They expressed their belief that the law is a democratic European law promoting human rights and freedom, whereas the opposition said the law could cause the redefinition of the family category and marriage cancellation.

The opinions of the ruling and opposition parties remained conflicting mainly regarding whether SOGI should be included in the new national Law on prohibition and prevention from discrimination as discriminatory ground. Although the ruling party promised adoption of the law in the Parliament as soon as possible, the adoption was again postponed.

North Macedonia’s Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska told the lawmakers that the law complied with European and international standards for the protection of citizens against any discrimination.

The adopted law prohibits any discrimination based on race, origin, nationality or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, political beliefs, or any other grounds.

Civil society representatives rallied in Skopje in front of the parliament during the plenary session to ask for the lawmakers to adopt the law. Later that day, the Parliament of the country finally adopted the new national Law on prohibition and prevention from discrimination which was in parliamentary procedure since July last year. By this step, the law truly protects all the citizens in the country on equal basis.