Croatians Ban Same-Sex 'Marriage' in Referendum

Two-Thirds of Voters Say They Want Marriage Defined as Union Between Man and a Woman

Zagreb, (Zenit.org) | 1281 hits

Croatians have voted in a referendum to ban same-sex “marriage”.

Two-thirds of voters approved of constitutional changes to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Dec. 1st poll.

The result came after a petition backing the referendum, drawn up by “In the Name of the Family”, a Catholic group, received more than 700,000 signatures.

The referendum asked the question: "Do you agree that marriage is the union between a man and a woman?" Almost 90% of Croatia's population of 4.4 million are Catholics. The vote also received support from 104 members of Croatia's 151-seat parliament.

The government and some human rights groups strongly opposed a ban. President Ivo Josipovic said he was disappointed but not surprised by the outcome of the vote. 

The poll succeeded in spite of government and media representatives trying to impede the voting process, according to “In the Name of the Family”.

Members of the initiative said they faced insults, aggression and even physical assaults while collecting signatures. They also said opponents attempted to burn the list of signatures collected.

“The very beginning of the initiative was being publicly ridiculed by a significant portion of the Croatian high politics, especially by the members of the governing left-wing coalition in a number of statements, as also by some journalists on the state-television, as being “discriminatory”, “retrogressive”, “medieval” and downright as “imposing a religious doctrine”, a source within the organization said.

The centre-right opposition HDZ party supported the referendum.