International LGBT rights group ILGA-Europe has called on citizens in Croatia to do the right thing in voting in favour of equal marriage in a referendum this Sunday, 1 December.
More than 700,000 people signed the recent petition to change the constitution to define marriage as “the lifelong union of a woman and a man.”
ILGA-Europe says it regrets that the Croatian authorities agreed that an issue of human rights affecting a minority group should be decided by a popular majority vote.
The organisation also pointed out the fact that the actions could mark its entry into the EU, which is based on the principles of equality, dignity and respect for human rights.
ILGA-Europe is calling on all citizens of Croatia who value freedom, respect and human rights to vote no at the referendum.
Appealing to opinion makers, celebrities and political leaders, ILGA-Europe said it hoped more would speak out in favour of equality.
ILGA Europe released a statement saying: “Marriage equality and recognition of same-sex unions is not a threat or danger to anyone. It is simply another step towards the elimination of oppression and discrimination. Research from countries where same-sex unions are legally recognised and protection from discrimination exist, show a much higher level of happiness and content compared to those countries where inequality and discrimination still exist.”
Continuing, the group noted that 21 out of 49 European countries now recognise same-sex unions, and that the number is growing.
A statement from the organisation read: “It is time for Croatia to decide if it wants to build a democratic country where every person is respected and a society where happiness of all people matters, or a country which wants to anchor discrimination in its main law.
“Vote for human rights, respect and happiness for all. Say no to discriminatory constitutional amendment.
“Glasaj protiv (vote against) this Sunday!”