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Croatia to hold a referendum aiming to rule out same-sex marriage

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 8 Nov 2013, 1:44pm

    Doomed to failure. Activist Sanja Duras is wrong. The ECHR does not consider same-sex marriage a human right. Quite extraordinary that an EU member government considers a minority of support in a referendum allows a law to become enacted.

  2. This is why I hate referendums—whatever the outcome.

    The question is wrong. The timing is wrong. The majority of voters will vote for the wrong reasons. The outcome will be wrong.

    And then when it’s over, supporters of the result will claim it was the ‘will of the people’ and therefore legitimate.

    1. Exactly. Majority shouldn’t be able to decide for the minority. The EU should ban referendums about same-sex marriage and leave it to the government.

  3. Yet one more reason there should have been more of a delay before admitting Eastern European countries into the EU (along with endemic corruption). We have already seen with Bulgaria and Romania that, once the countries are in, we have no more leverage. They are happy to take our cohesion funds, but none of our social values.

    1. Croatia’s government appears to have a better record on LGBT equality than Italy’s (a founding member of the EU, of course) – they give limited legal recognition to cohabiting same-sex couples and have stronger laws on discrimination and hate crimes. ILGA Europe also gives them a higher score than Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Luxembourg, and all of the countries that joined in 2004 except for Hungary.

    2. alwaysniceman 14 Nov 2013, 1:34pm

      Why don’t you shut up?

      That’s so divisive and hostile to use the term E Europe to offend. SO foolish as well.

      Croatia wasn’t in the Eastern Block ever in its history.

      The UK was far worse for gay people just a few decades ago, and many countries in the former Western Bloc like Italy, but also counted as W Europe like Monaco, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Ireland have rather bad record :)

  4. And yet the European Union under the auspices of its continued and preposterous Enlargement policy continues to welcome and tolerate countries where the mentality of its inhabitants is anything but modern and progressive vis-à-vis human rights and equality for all and, rather than pulling its own and making a contribution to the block of developed and rather well-off countries, Croatia will be yet another drain on already finite resources. Such is the shortsightedness of the institutions in Brussels!

    1. Excuse me? Not all of our mentality is “anything but modern and progressive”. You cannot talk as if we were all the same. That’s just wrong!

  5. … and if the vote goes against …? Will they be kicked out of the EU? If not, why not? This is intolerable. These backwards countries are either IN the EU – with all the civilised and human rights that come with membership – or they’re not. Let’s not pussyfoot around with them. Make a choice. Drop your infantile religious prejudices and civilise – or stay in the Dark Ages and get the f**k out.

    1. You’re seriously suggesting they should be kicked out of the EU for failing to allow same-sex marriage? What about Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Finland, Ireland, and indeed the UK (where SSM won’t be allowed in England, Wales and Scotland for a few more months, and in NI for the foreseeable future)?

      1. I think, James, that your point isn’t all that valid. Yes, there are rouge members of the original 15 EUR counties that are hopeless when it comes to gay rights– but we can’t revoke their membership nor remove their funding, much as I would love to. But we can learn from past mistakes and refuse to admit new members until they clean up their act. At the very least they should pass non-discrimination bills!

  6. I’m Croatian, and let me just say that this referendum will most likely pass. I wish it weren’t true, I wish my country was more progressive, but people are still mentally at war. They live in the past, the nationalism, racism, pro-nazism is out of control – and all of it supported by the Catholic Church & its blind followers.
    I honestly cannot believe people still trust the RCC & the right-wing HDZ party after all the corruption & pedophile scandals they have put the country through.
    There are many people who are very tolerant, open-minded & peaceful – unfortunately they are the minority.

    1. With all due respect ‘Twiggy’, and to dispel any inadvertent racist, intolerant or otherwise interpretation that my comment above might have construed… my point is not based on anything other than a firm belief and recognition that the European Union has proven wholly-inadequate in its methods of scrutiny vis-à-vis corruption and misuse of EU funds. I am sure that the greater majority of Croatians, like the Romanians and Bulgarians, are kind and friendly people. I say this because, as an international lawyer, I know and work with quite a few. Unfortunately, the ‘acquis communitaire’ is insufficient and unsatisfactory in its approach and follow-up to human rights and equality, regardless of the rights enshrined in the ECHR [which does not incorporate same-sex marriage rights]. I do however also believe that countries and populations need time to develop both psychologically and financially. (cont’d…)

    2. cont’d…
      Finally, allow me to say that, living in Rome, I am well aware that Croatia and its people are no worse than Italy – nor the Italians – where homophobia is rife and legislation protecting LGBT citizens from hate crime is virtually-inexistent, or worse, is generally ignored or unenforced by the authorities. As you rightly point out, this is down to the Vatican and wider Catholic clergy which does everything it can to quosh key societal issues such as equal rights for all.

  7. Croatia beautiful country and friendly locals but in the dark ages when it comes to aknowledge and rights of gay people !

  8. Jock S. Trap 8 Nov 2013, 3:21pm

    ”Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”

    The question itself is extremely bias toward their argument so expect they will win but win on the unfairness of the question out forward. It’s done in a way that most people cannot argue otherwise.

    I remember when Scotland proposed the question “Do you agree that Scotland should become Independent” it had to be change because it leads people to agree just as it does over marriage.

    The EU should have the power to challenge Croatia over this and delay any progress until it can treat it’s citizens equally!

    1. I absolutely and totally agree with you ‘Jock S. Trap’! To my mind, any EU candidate country that subjects its citizens to a vote that is contrary to the way the EU is moving (tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people) should find itself subject to an EU parliamentary vote. This could even be extended to EU members who are repeatedly unco-operative or defiant. If indeed so, the EU and its institutions would appear much more democratic to its citizens.

  9. ”Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”
    If a majority vote “yes” in the referendum…”

    This is a rigged question.
    It is only possible to answer yes to this question, presently marriage is self-evidently between a man and a woman, what needs to be asked is do you agree that same sex couples should be allowed the same legal right to marry as opposite sex couples.

  10. ”Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?” ! ! !

    I agree with others here that this is an appallingly biased question.

    The fact is that at the moment in Croatia marriage IS matrimony between a man and a woman! And anyone who disagrees with that statement is incorrect.

    The question is deliberately rigged.

    Shame on the Croatian government!

    1. The actual question is: ”Should marriage be constitutionally defined as a union between a man and woman?”

  11. BlokeToys 8 Nov 2013, 6:28pm

    Sigh… another religiously fanatic right-wing nation makes some noise by posing a loaded question to the public over something that should not be up for public debate.

    Equality in a democracy is not open for referendum, and to hold one on this issue proves that Croatia is not a democratic nation.

    This will obviously fail, because Croatia is another hellhole soviet satellite with massive corruption, bigotry, racism, homophobia, extremism, religious fanaticism…

    Why do we even bother talking about these worthless nations?

    1. People out there struggle for their basic rights and you just say that it doesn’t matter because they’re worthless?

      1. Give us a break, you know that is not what BlokeToys meant, he’s talking about the prejudiced, religiously infested Government leadership.

        1. The referendum wasn’t proposed by leadership. And even if it were, people of that country wouldn’t care less. This is because it’s hard to empathize with strangers that one considers perverted. When most Croatian gays will have come out, a referendum of repealing this one will be held and won.

  12. Good news. Nice to know there is a decent country left in Europe. Unlike filthy England.

    1. Tell us Greg, why do you come to gay websites if you aren’t gay yourself? Does your wife know? Don’t forget to clear your browsing history!

    2. Yes – I’m seriously suggesting ANY country which has not introduced EQUALITY in the next couple of years should face the consequences. Of course, James, we could all just sit back and do nothing ….. taking the pee and watching the next European holocaust unfold … which sounds like your preferred option.

    3. Please don’t come here to insult both my sexuality and my country. If you don’t like it, move to Croatia

      1. Hi, Louis. A Croat here. -.- and your comment is quite rude. Not all of us are so ignorant and bigoted. And not all of us are proud of this! So, suggesting that he should move to Croatia if he is homophobic is not nice. I am very ashamed of my country because of what’s happening. You should all keep in mind that are always two sides to the story.

    4. You are welcome to switch places with me Gregg…
      I can’t bare living in Croatia, people are so backwards and dumb… I plan on moving to London while it’s still easy to do (before we are kicked out of the EU).

  13. “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”

    Trick question much?

  14. Well done politicians of Croatia – demonstrate to the civilised world that you are a backward, bigoted and ignorant nation, quite unworthy to be part of the EU – maybe you’d like to consider withdrawing from the western world and forming an alliance with arab or West African nations you have more in common with?

  15. nightraven26 10 Nov 2013, 10:05pm

    I’m from Croatia and I’d like to think my country was better than this, but in all reality, it’s not. People here have a more traditional view of the world, generally have a hard time accepting change, and the majority doesn’t even want to be in the EU because they believe it’s the “new Yugoslavia”, which is ridding them of their freedom. Croatia’s demographic is mostly mature old people with population decline (, so not only is fewer people born, but the entire nation is growing old. I wanted to believe my peers (young people) here will be against the referendum, but the truth is, many of them are raised to be right-winged anti-gay bullies which they then spread onto others through peer pressure. The situation here really is horrendous. Mind you, not everyone from Croatia is right-wing and traditional, but most people are. For example, I have a friend who is a Catholic but believes the Church is wrong (cont’d)

  16. nightraven26 10 Nov 2013, 10:13pm

    Even though I’m against the referendum, I’d just like to correct people – the question isn’t “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?” it’s “Are you for or against putting a decree into the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia by which marriage would be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman?


    (Jeste li za to da se u Ustav Republike Hrvatske unese odredba po kojoj je brak životna zajednica žene i muškarca?


    I myself am against.

  17. I don’t see a problem at all, there is a new law coming that will allow same rights to same-sex partners. Just a political fuss over nothing as always.

    1. The problem is that there is a referendum which won’t help anyone. Same-sex marriage is already illegal and they want it now to be constitutionally illegal. If it passes it will push (violent) homophobia even further because people will think that the majority of Croatia supports it. Just like the things that are happening in Russia only less.

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