Croatians on Sunday are likely to
approve a referendum which seeks to limit marriage to a heterosexual
If a majority of voters agree that
“marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman,” then Croatia's
constitution will be amended to define marriage as solely the union
of a man and a woman.
Polling shows that nearly 60 percent of
voters favor the amendment.
A petition in support of amending the
constitution has received more than 700,000 signatures and was
organized by the Catholic group In the Name of the Family. Catholics
are being urged to support the measure. Nearly 90 percent of
Croatians are Roman Catholics.
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.”
Hundreds opposed to the measure rallied
Saturday in Zagreb, Croatia's capital. They argue that passage would
be a major setback for the country, which joined the EU in July.
“I will vote against because I think
that the referendum is not a festival of democracy, but a festival of
oppression against a minority, which fights for its rights and which
does not have its rights,” a university student told the AP.
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has
also urged a “no” vote.
“The question is: Do we need this
kind of a referendum? I think that determining marriage between a
man add a woman does not belong in the constitution. A nation is
judged by its attitude toward minorities,” Josipovic
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.