Croatia Bans Gay Marriage
While most of the world is beginning to embrace marriage equality, Croatia has taken a major step backwards by banning gay and lesbian marriage. Two-thirds of Croatian voters voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in a national referendum. The heavily Roman Catholic country supported the amendment to Croatia’s constitution despite the referendum not having the support of the center-left government led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. The amendment may irritate the European Union that recently added Croatia as a member state. While the European Union doesn’t guarantee the right for same-sex couples to marry and doesn’t have “hard law” to overturn Croatia’s recent ban, European parliamentarian Michael Cashman responded to Croatia’s ban by saying that the law may be overturned in Parliamentary Courts. “I think ultimately these issues will go through to the European Court of Human Rights, where they will seem to be – and will be ruled – inhumane and unjust. It’s also a question of making one of the founding benefits of the European Union – freedom of movement – a reality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. At the moment, if you’re in a same-sex civil partnership or marriage, and you travel to a country where those rights are not granted, your rights are diminished. This prevents the freedom of movement of LGBT people. We may be able to argue this at the European Court of Justice.” Croatia isn’t the only EU country to ban gay and lesbian marriages. Founding member Italy still bans same-sex marriages as well as Cyprus, Gibraltar, Greece, Romania, Malta, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.