While Croatia may have voted at the ballot box to ban gay marriage, the liberal Prime Minister is determined to bring in rights for same-sex couples.
The government has presented ‘life partnership’ legislation today (12 December), allowing same-sex couples to officially register their relationship, inherit property from one another, and represent each other as next of kin.
They will be banned from marrying or adopting children.
With the government’s legislative majority, it means the bill is likely to pass.
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said the legislation will uphold to ‘good European standards.;
Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opacic described the proposal as a ‘Christmas gift’ to the LGBTI community in Croatia.
Gay rights campaigners, however, have slammed the bill as too conservative and have suggested the government is just doing what they think is right - but not sacrificing votes.
‘We do not see enough compelling reasons to deny same-sex couples the possibility of adopting children,’ Zagreb Pride said.
‘Same-sex couples do not currently in Croatia have any of rights that they are entitled to, guaranteed to us by the European Convention on Human Rights, the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and the Constitution of Croatia.’
The gay rights activists will be meeting with all parliamentary parties in an effort to amend and improve the legislation.
A survey conducted by Zagreb Pride found more than half the respondents, 53%, were interested in registering a life partnership. More than a third also wished they could raise a family.