Gay couples are celebrating as Croatia has adopted a law on life partnerships.
It allows couples to enter into a legal union that gives them many of the same rights that married couples enjoy, but does not allow them to adopt.
The law passed 89 votes in support and 16 against today (15 July).
Zoran Milanovic, Croatia’s liberal Prime Minister, proposed the legislation saying he was determined to bring in rights for same-sex couples.
The law will give same-sex couples access to equality in inheritance, pensions, tax and medical care.
Marko Jurčić, anti-discrimination coordinator for Zagreb Pride, told Gay Star News it was a ‘big step forward’.
‘Of course marriage equality is something we all demand, but it is still a huge step.
‘Almost every country that now has marriage equality has had this step in between.
‘While in one hand anyone who wants to get married can in the meantime still enjoy a huge number of rights, rights they deserve. On the other, this is a block in the path to marriage equality.’
Last year, the Catholic Church gathered 750,000 signatures – over one fifth of Croatia’s population – to demand the Constitution ban same-sex marriage.
It led to a change in the constitution, banning gay couples from marriage by defining it as between a man and a woman.