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Croatians to vote on referendum that would define marriage

Ruling party calls on electorate to reject the move to amend the constitution

Croatians will vote Dec 1 to decide whether they want marriage constitutionally defined as a union between a man and a woman. Credit:

Croatians will decide whether they want to have marriage constitutionally defined as a union between a man and a woman in a referendum to be held Dec 1, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) says.

The vote got the green light from parliament following a Catholic group's submission of more than 740,000 signatures of people who favour a vote on the referendum question "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?"

Ivo Josipovic, the president of Croatia, which became a member of the European Union in July, has indicated that he feels defining marriage is not a matter for the constitution and he will vote against amending it. According to Reuters, members of the country's governing coalition have been urging people to reject a constitutional amendment on marriage, with a number of ministers appearing in a video to say they plan to vote no to the referendum question.

A member of the conservative HDZ party says it is a question of safeguarding an institution that is "a basis of the Croatian society."

Reuters says a recent poll suggests that a majority of people plan to vote for an amendment and notes that the outcome is binding.

ILGA-Europe says it's disapppointed that Croatia's leaders have decided to put the rights of a minority group to a popular vote.