Monday, November 25, 2013

Traditional Marriage Referendum to Go Ahead

An unprecedented legislative event will be taking place in Croatia on December 1 on a provision in the constitution that would clearly define marriage as "a living union of a woman and a man".

Although the small Mediterranean coastal country has held four other referendums since it declared its independence from Yugoslavia 22 years ago - on independence, labour law, EU membership, and constitutional reform - none have managed to gather the necessary signatures from more than 10% of the population so quickly.

The "In the Name of the Family" citizens' initiative, to have a referendum on the question of whether to define marriage as "a life union of a woman and a man", managed to gather more than 750,000 signatures in less than two weeks. That represents more than 20% of the population, more than double the minimum required for a referendum.

There is widespread support for the referendum, with five parliamentary parties, 15 non-parliamentary parties, numerous NGOs, and many private families and individuals all calling for it to go ahead. However, the Croatian political elite have been vigorous in their opposition.

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