‘Nearly impossible’ for gay marriage in Croatia, but government will keep pushing

‘Nearly impossible’ for gay marriage in Croatia, but government will keep pushing

Croatia’s leaders have vowed to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in as little as two weeks.


Despite this weekend’s devastating blow to plans for civil unions, where 66% of Croatian voters said marriage should stay defined between a man and a woman, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic supports some form of marriage equality, regardless of how it is defined.


Milanovic pledged this week to find a way to ensure ‘all couples, regardless of sexual orientation, the same rights’ within ‘a week or two,’ according to Balkan Insight.


‘This was the last referendum in which a majority limits the rights of a minority,’ he added.


Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s expressed his disappointment over the vote, saying it was a ‘just a preparation’ for further referendums that could limit the rights of the Serbian community.


‘I think it did not make us any better, smarter or prettier.’


Out of the 21 counties on Croatia, only two voted against the referendum to keep marriage between a man and a woman.


While Croatia’s law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman, experts say according to the New York Times, Sunday’s vote reaffirms a heterosexual definition of marriage and makes it practically impossible to pass any form of marriage equality legislation.


Franko Dota, a political analyst and gay rights activist told the New York Times: ‘This referendum was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of introducing gay marriage in Croatia.’


‘This was a referendum to humiliate the gay population, and to strike against the progress of the past decades.’


The referendum is a win for the country’s religious leaders and Catholic-backed conservative groups including the Croatian Democratic Union HDZ, who have been pushing the referendum to the 85% Catholic population.


Despite efforts to keep the definition of marriage the same, HDZ’s leader Zeljko Reiner said: ‘Our friends, neighbours and relatives of a different sexual orientation don’t have to worry, because their rights must be protected, and the HDZ will do that first.’


The battle for civil unions has reached a head since August 2013 when Croatia’s government pledged to give recognize same-sex couples through ‘life partnerships,’ not marriage.


While the country’s beautiful beaches are still a popular tourism stop, particularly for gay cruises, the country has a tumultuous gay rights record.


In September 2013, global human rights group Amnesty International named and shamed Croatia as one of several EU member states whose laws still insufficiently protect against the discrimination, physical assault or murder of LGBT people.


Source: Gay star news