After an intense campaign that deeply
divided Croatia, a majority of voters on Sunday voted to ban gay
According to the AP, more than 65
percent of Croatian voters agreed that “marriage is matrimony
between a man and a woman,” while about 34 percent disagreed.
Passage means that Croatia's
constitution will be amended to define marriage as solely the union
of a man and a woman.
A petition in support of amending the
constitution received more than 700,000 signatures and was organized
by the Catholic group In the Name of the Family. Catholics were
urged to support the measure. Nearly 90 percent of Croatians are
Croatia's Cardinal Josip Bozanic told
followers: “Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This
is the key difference between a marriage and other unions.”
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said
he voted against the measure.
Josipovic added that while the
referendum result must be respected, it would not stop the government
from moving forward on a law to allow some rights to gay couples.
“The referendum result must not be
the reason for new divisions,” Josipovic said.
Hundreds opposed to the measure rallied
Saturday in Zagreb, Croatia's capital. They argued that passage
would be a major setback for the country, which joined the EU in
Human rights groups opposed to the
referendum as an infringement of basic human rights said they planned
on filing an appeal with the country's constitutional court.