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Croatians Celebrate First Same-Sex Partnership, Osijek Pride

 

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It was a big weekend for Croatian gays, with city Osijek's first-ever pride parade, and with the country's first same-sex civil partnership.

Croatia's populace is overwhelmingly Catholic, and they voted last year to approve a constitutional ban on gay marriage. But on Saturday, the country registered ia civil-partnership between two people of the same sex for the first time.

The ceremony was held in Croatian capital Zagreb. Via Global Post, activist Marko Jurcic of the Zagreb Pride gay rights group told AFP:

History was created in Zagreb as the first life partnership was concluded between two men...It was a brief ceremony held in Zagreb on Friday that was attended also by Administration Minister Arsen Bauk who presented the two with ties.

While Osijek pride attendees were over 150 miles away from Zagreb, the festivities (above) were especially jubilant with the news.

This turn feels a fulfillment of comments made last year by Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. In the wake of the aforementioned referendum banning gay marriage, Prime Minister Milanovic emphasized the importance of extended benefits such as hospital visitation and inheritance rights to gay couples.

Prime Minister Milanovic made it clear he did not support the new law, saying:  “I think [the referendum] did not make us any better, smarter or prettier."

For all the progress being made in Croatia, there is still work to be done for gay rights advocates outside the issue of same-sex marriage. Gays in Croatia are still not allowed to adopt, for example.


Croatian Government to Pursue Civil Unions for Gay Couples After People Ban Same-Sex Marriage

One day after the people of Croatia voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, the government says it will pursue civil partnerships for gay couples, the NYT reports:

MilanovicPrime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s center-left government said on Monday that it would move ahead with a proposed bill to afford same-sex couples many of the legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including hospital visitation and inheritance rights, though the bill does not include the right to adopt children.

Mr. Milanovic said he regretted that the referendum had even been held. “I think it did not make us any better, smarter or prettier,” he said.

The state electoral commission said that 66 percent of those who voted answered yes to the question, “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?” Turnout was relatively low, with about 38 percent of registered voters casting ballots. Analysts said the turnout suggested that the sluggish economy and 18 percent unemployment rate were more on Croats’ minds than gay marriage.


Croatian President, Voters Respond to Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO

Josipovic

As we reported yesterday, Croatian voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage over the weekend. Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic said he hoped the result wouldn't cause future divisions.

Said Josipovic: "I believe and expect that these referendum results mustn't cause a deep ideological split in our society."

And anti-gay Catholics are singing and celebrating.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Catholics

Continue reading "Croatian President, Voters Respond to Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO" »


Initial Results Suggest That Croatia Has Voted to Constitutionally Ban Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Croatia Gay Rights Protest

Croatians on Sunday voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage on Sunday, the AP reports:

The state electoral commission, citing initial results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" About 34 percent voted against.

The referendum was called by the "In the Name of the Family" conservative group after Croatia's center-left government drafted a law to let gay couples register as "life partners."

The Catholic Church leaders have urged their followers to vote "yes" in the referendum. Nearly 90 percent of Croatians are Roman Catholics.

CroatiaA Catholic-backed petition to push for the referendum received over 700,000 signatures from constituents, so now gays and lesbians must fight an uphill battle for their rights. The ballot measure was deliberately worded so abominably so that anyone reading the question without any sense of context would be more likely to answer "Yes."

Religion and family, as per usual, are the rationales behind denying gay couples equal rights. Croatia's Cardinal Josip Bozanic said in an open letter, "Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This is the key difference between a marriage... and other unions." The Cardinal did not expand on what other legally-recognized unions Croatia offers to its citizens, nor did he address the issue of elderly, infertile, or deliberately childless couples and the validity of their marriages.

Croatia became a member of the European Union this past July, so it is possible that this ban could threaten the country's membership status as the EU's Copenhagen criterion explicitly forbids discrimination against minorities, and articles 10 and 19 of the EU Treaty and article 21 of the European Charter on Fundamental Rights forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Watch a Euronews report on the vote, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Initial Results Suggest That Croatia Has Voted to Constitutionally Ban Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


Croatia to Let People Vote on Constitutionally Banning Gay Marriage

On December 1, Croatia will hold a referendum on constitutionally banning same-sex marriage, Buzzfeed reports:

CroatiaThe (parliamentary) commission voted 10-3 to hold a referendum on whether to constitutionally define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Croatia currently has minimal partnership protections in the form of “cohabitation agreements.”

The decision comes at an awkward moment for the Balkan country. Croatia officially joined the European Union on July 1, and its LGBTI rights record came under close scrutiny in the lead-up. It was required to adopt a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a condition of EU membership.

News of the vote broke as Croatia was in the midst of hosting a meeting of the International Gay and Lesbian Association’s (ILGA) European branch in its capital, Zagreb, gathering 290 LGBTI activists from 40 countries. Top human rights officials from the U.S. and EU also came to lend their support to the conference — though all declined to comment on the proposed marriage amendment, reflecting that even as marriage has become a central plank of an LGBTI rights agenda in their domestic constituencies, it still remains taboo when it comes to international diplomacy.

More at Buzzfeed...


Facebook Ice Cream Exists, But What Does It Taste Like?

Facebook

Facebook ice cream is for sale at the Valentino ice cream shop on Murter Island in the Adriatic Sea.

Writes Digital Trends:

The Facebook ice cream does not taste like Facebook because Facebook is a website and you cannot taste it (though I imagine it would taste like a combination of narcissism, short-term social fulfillment, and regret). The Facebook ice cream tastes like gum and candy, thanks to the flavored blue syrup. There’s probably some metaphor in here about something being sugary, addictive, and only good in moderation, but I’m too lazy to nail it down.

Apparently gimmicks work and people "like" it.


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