Croatia to hold referendum on same-sex marriage ban

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The parliament of Croatia has voted in favour of holding a referendum on proposals to ban same-sex marriages.

On 1 December voters will decide whether to approve changes to Croatia's constitution, to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

More than two-thirds of the members of parliament in Croatia backed the plan.

A petition in favour of the plan, drawn up by a Catholic group, received more than 700,000 signatures. Opponents say it is discriminatory and anti-gay.

On Friday the parliament of the majority-Catholic country voted to hold a referendum asking the question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?"

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

13 COMMENTS

  1. My son had a T shirt once with the words ‘ I am a slow learner’ on the front together with a picture of a chap bandaged from head to foot yet holding a lit fire- cracker in his hand.
    The religious mindset reminds me of this T shirt although the religious don’t pay the price because of the undeserved shield provided for them by the respect and awe of the unthinking majority.

    The church has been proven wrong time after time after time yet they continue making pronouncements about issues with a conviction that is breathtaking in its arrogance.
    Someday in the future this issue like past issues will be resolved . If the church had the humility it constantly brags about, it would ask itself the question ‘Could I possibly be wrong about this, as I have been so many times in the past? Is there a different way to look at this issue that is humane?” But this religious mentality is so full of hubris in its way being THE way .One wonders just how things will turn out and how much more pain and anguish it will be responsible for.

  2. I’ve heard that some US states have tried to do the same, but I’m not clear on why. Can someone explain this?

    Why explicitly ban same sex marriage if it’s already not legal? I can see that the referendum is trying to change the constitution, so I understand that if the referendum passes, then it’ll be more difficult to allow same sex marriages in the future, because the constitution would have to be changed back first. So that could be a reason for the referendum; conservative forces trying to make it more difficult for future members of parliament to allow same sex marriage. But it seems like such a blatant ploy. Why pass such far-reaching changes to the constitution when the law already does not allow same saw marriages? Isn’t it far too superfluous?

    • In reply to #2 by Aztek:

      Why explicitly ban same sex marriage if it’s already not legal? I can see that the referendum is trying to change the constitution, so I understand that if the referendum passes, then it’ll…

      There are essentially two reasons that states in the US put these kinds of measures on the ballots.

      1) Symbolic vote getting gestures. Even if the law is meaningless from a legal standpoint it often won’t matter to many of the people who want to deny rights to gays. Those people don’t think rationally anyway. So the reasoning by the people who put these things on the ballot is that there are many people who otherwise might not vote who will come out to vote for a chance to express their bigotry toward gays and that getting those people to vote is a good thing because they will also vote for (mostly Republican) candidates who share their values.

      2) As a hedge against future laws from other states. States have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts and documents from other states. If say Iowa allows same sex marriage but Kentucky doesn’t it might be possible for someone from Kentucky to go to Iowa get married and then come back to Kentucky and say that the state must recognize their Iowa marriage. They in fact WOULD have to recognize a man woman marriage from another state, otherwise every time a couple moved to a different state they would need to get remarried. So the state laws — besides being symbolic vote getting measures — do serve a role in not recognizing gay marriages from other states.

      • In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #2 by Aztek:

        …As a hedge against future laws from other states. States have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts and documents from other states.

        So you’re saying that despite the fact that states have to recognize legal contracts from other states, having a clear ban on same sex marriage would mean they wouldn’t have to? In other words, if Kentucky doesn’t recognize same sex marriage, and a gay couple from that state marries in Iowa, then Kentucky has to recognize that marriage. But if Kentucky has a ban on same sex marriage, then the state doesn’t have recognize that marriage, despite the fact that states “have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts” from other states?

        • In reply to #5 by Aztek:

          So you’re saying that despite the fact that states have to recognize legal contracts from other states, having a clear ban on same sex marriage would mean they wouldn’t have to?

          Yes. The default is that any contract valid in state A is also valid in state B. However, states can define new laws that over ride that default. For example, when I moved from IL. to CA the license I had to work in mental health was no longer valid because CA had laws that stated you had to pass their standards which were higher than other states at the time.

          In other words, if Kentucky doesn’t recognize same sex marriage, and a gay couple from that state marries in Iowa, then Kentucky has to recognize that marriage. But if Kentucky has a ban on same sex marriage, then the state doesn’t have recognize that marriage, despite the fact that states “have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts” from other states?

          Yes. Note, it can get more complicated than that. Most states have something in their state constitution about everyone having equal rights. Depending on how strong that wording is gay rights people have tried to use state constitutions to over turn anti gay marriage laws in those states, saying that the basic rights in the state constitution can’t be legislated away. It’s similar to what happens when states pass laws that restrict abortion. People take them to court and say those laws are invalid due to the US constitution.

          That can get very complicated because the arguments are different because each state’s constitution is different.

          BTW, if you are thinking that the way the US determines laws is convoluted I agree. It made sense back in the 18th century when it took days and months for news to travel from one part of the country to another, it made sense to have smaller state governments just handle things the way they want but in the modern world it’s ridiculous.

          • In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #5 by Aztek:

            So you’re saying that despite the fact that states have to recognize legal contracts from other states, having a clear ban on same sex marriage would mean they wouldn’t have to?

            Yes. The default is that any contract valid in state A is also valid in state B. However, state…

            OK, thanks. That was a very clear explanation. I learned something today.

  3. I’ve heard that some US states have tried to do the same, but I’m not clear on why. Can someone explain this?

    Why explicitly ban same sex marriage if it’s already not legal? I can see that the referendum is trying to change the constitution, so I understand that if the referendum passes, then it’ll be more difficult to allow same sex marriages in the future, because the constitution would have to be changed back first. So that could be a reason for the referendum; conservative forces trying to make it more difficult for future members of parliament to allow same sex marriage. But it seems like such a blatant ploy. Why pass such far-reaching changes to the constitution when the law already does not allow same saw marriages? Isn’t it far too superfluous?

  4. Human rights should be a principle that is applied uniformly. Voting group by group is a sort of popularity contest. Human rights should not depend on popularity.

    Could you imagine how this procedure would work in Nazi Germany. It has an implied status ranking of ethnic groups.

    • I am from Croatian catholic family where parents are very religious and children (brother and I) firm atheists.
      This referendum divided our family up to a point where almost all communication is gone.
      Parents are viewing it as saying no to economic and social reforms conducted by current government in addition to firm beliefs that homosexuality is choice or disease that can be cured.
      Children are viewing it as uprising of Christian right after 10 years growth of civil liberties in Croatia, and are afraid that no-thinking mass will give power to criminal political options that are supported by church.

      Government, majority of media and influential persons are against this referendum and are vocal about it but also careful not to insult masses that will give this referendum a pass only because they think marriage is gift they personally received from God, and giving it to nonbelievers also will indicate how they are not special to Him.

      Please don’t judge my country to harshly. My parents are good people with only one flaw… they do not know better.

  5. In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #2 by Aztek:

    …As a hedge against future laws from other states. States have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts and documents from other states.

    So you’re saying that despite the fact that states have to recognize legal contracts from other states, having a clear ban on same sex marriage would mean they wouldn’t have to? In other words, if Kentucky doesn’t recognize same sex marriage, and a gay couple from that state marries in Iowa, then Kentucky has to recognize that marriage. But if Kentucky has a ban on same sex marriage, then the state doesn’t have recognize that marriage, despite the fact that states “have a responsibility to recognize legal contracts” from other states?

  6. In reply to #7 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #5 by Aztek:

    So you’re saying that despite the fact that states have to recognize legal contracts from other states, having a clear ban on same sex marriage would mean they wouldn’t have to?

    Yes. The default is that any contract valid in state A is also valid in state B. However, state…

    OK, thanks. That was a very clear explanation. I learned something today.

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