European LGBT rights group ILGA-Europe, has heavily criticised the decision of Croatian voters to choose to ban same-sex marriage in a referendum yesterday, and also came down on MPs for allowing the vote to even take place.

The organisation U ime obitelji (In the Name of the Family), gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on whether to ban equal marriage.

Around 65% voted “yes” to the question: “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”

ILGA said it regretted that out of 151 MPs in Croatia, 104 allowed the referendum to take place.

Gabi Calleja, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:

“We are seriously concerned by the fact that opponents to equality for all are using democratic tools to impose majority views on the rights of minority groups.

“We believe human rights and issues concerning minority groups cannot and should not be subjected to the popular vote in the first place.

“In a democracy, elected officials have a clear responsibility to safeguard human rights of everyone and not to allow democratic tools to be abused to restrict the rights of minority groups.”

urned their results.

Hundreds of gay rights supporters in Croatia staged a mass demonstration on Saturday against the referendum.

British band The xx issued a statement last week saying they did not condone the use of their music by U ime obitelji in its campaign.

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