Hundreds of gay rights supporters in Croatia staged a mass demonstration on Saturday against an imminent referendum which aims to rule out same-sex marriages.

According to Associated Press, more than 1000 activists gathered in the capital city of Zagreb to campaign Sunday’s upcoming constitutional referendum to define marriage as “the lifelong union of a woman and a man.”

Demonstrators taking part in the “I vote against” march carried rainbow-coloured banners which read: “Homosexuality is not a choice but hatred is” and “Let’s protect all loves”.

Gay rights activist Sanja Juras said: “Voters will decide if they want members of a minority group to be permanently labelled second class citizens.”

International LGBT rights group ILGA-Europe has also called on citizens in Croatia to do the right thing in voting in favour of equal marriage.

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!”