Despite passage of a gay marriage ban, the Croatian government vowed on Monday that it would not abandon plans for a law allowing civil partnerships for gay couples.

Sixty-six percent of voters on Sunday answered yes to the question, “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?” The results mean that Croatia's constitution will be amended to define marriage as a heterosexual union.

The intense campaign deeply divided the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

“This referendum was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of introducing gay marriage in Croatia,” Franko Dota, a political analyst, told The New York Times. “This was a referendum to humiliate the gay population, and to strike against the progress of the past decades.”

Opponents of the marriage ban have called it a major setback for the country, which joined the European Union in July.

Catholic group In the Name of the Family gathered more than 700,000 signatures to put the question on the ballot. Catholics, which make up nearly 90 percent of the population, were urged to support the measure.