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Croatia referendum votes for gay marriage ban

Croatia referendum votes for gay marriage ban

The referendum to forbid marriage equality in Croatia has won an overwhelming majority.

The state’s electoral commission, citing close to complete numbers, noted that 65% of voters voted ‘yes’ on the following ballot question: ‘Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?’

According to an ABC News report, 34% voted ‘no.’

The results of the referendum means  Croatia’s constitution will be changed to ban same-sex marriage.

Catholic-backed conservative groups, including Croatia’s HDZ party, have demanded the constitution be amended to maintain the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

‘Marriage is the only union enabling procreation,’ Croatian Cardinal Josip Bozanic said in his message to the followers, according to ABC News. ‘This is the key difference between a marriage and other unions.’

Yesterday (30 November) hundreds of LGBTI protesters marched through Zagreb yesterday to fight against the anti-gay referendum.

Sanja Juras, one of the protesters at the march, said: ‘We urge voters… to protect minority rights so that no-one in Croatia becomes a second-class citizen.’

Opponents included prominent public figures, human rights groups and the Croatian government.

Croatia’s liberal president Ivo Josipovic, a referendum opponent, said the results must be respected. However, he added the government is now working on a law that offers gay couples some protection.

‘The referendum result must not be the reason for new divisions,’  Josipovic said, according to ABC. ‘We have serious economic and social problems. It’s not worth it to focus on such issues.’