Croatia's parliament on Tuesday
overwhelmingly approved a law recognizing for the first time the
unions of gay and lesbian couples.
The Life Partnership Act was proposed
by the center-left government of Croatian Prime Minister Zoran
Milanovic. In December, 65 percent of voters approved amending
Croatia's constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union in
a referendum organized by the Catholic Church.
Lawmakers approved the legislation with
an 89-16 vote, according to a BIRN report.
The legislation reportedly recognizes
gay couples as a “form of family life” and grants them the same
rights and duties as marriage, with the exception of adoption.
“This long-awaited legal recognition
of our unions means that all family forms are equal, that they
deserve to live in a safe, happy environment and that the dignity of
every person, regardless of his sexual orientation is inalienable,”
Marko Jurcic of Zagreb Pride (pictured above).
“We're very pleased, this is a huge
step forward for Croatia,” he added.