Croatia: Ex-Communist Camp Engages Oppression In Marriage Referendum

In the name of the family referendum citizens initiative logo 2013

In the name of the family
referendum citizens initiative logo
2013

Since the dawn of human society, which includes matrimony, law and church have regulated marriage as a union between a man and a woman, until recently (but in some states/countries only).  Whether one believes that a marriage is an exclusive right to heterosexual couples, between a man and a woman, or that it is a right all, regardless of their sexual preferences and practices, including same sex couples, should enjoy, is a matter of personal and individual conscience. In some this belief is associated with their religious beliefs, while in others it comes down to pure reasoning on a human nature level, which opens the doors to accept relationships between two human beings in any form they personally consider comforting and most meaningful.

It is, therefore, a matter of personal conscience and each and every personal conscience defines our actions, and our societies.

Referendums in a democracy are sanctity, the ultimate expression of ones conscience directed at what society he/she wants to live in.  It is for that reason that referendums must be allowed to proceed without interference from the government, especially, when the desire to hold one has come from the people alone.

My intention was not to write about the impending referendum on definition of marriage in Croatia, due to be held Sunday 1 December 2013, before it is held.

But, I am placed in the situation where I simply must comment, for since the fall of Communism (1990/1991), one has never seen a Croatian politician treating a democratic expression of the electorate’s will (referendum) with such arrogance and oppression as we are seeing in the past couple of weeks.

Recent months in Croatia have seen an incredibly successful citizens’ initiative through which citizens, in view of government plans to introduce new legislation that would greatly expand the rights for gay couples and was seen as a first step towards a full-fledged legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Citizens’ groups petitioned that a referendum take place giving the citizens the opportunity to decide whether an amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman should be added to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.
The target to be reached in order to satisfy the benchmark to call a referendum was 450,000 signatures, but the initiative received statements of support from 750.000 citizens within just two weeks – despite systematic harassment by the government, which unsuccessfully appealed to the country’s Constitutional Court to prohibit the initiative on the grounds that it was “discriminatory”. The Constitutional Court, however, ruled that the initiative and the upcoming referendum were not in contradiction to the principle that all citizens are equal before the law.

The referendum will pose the question: “Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?”

The path to referendum day has been littered with governmental oppression and fear mongering yet unseen by me, anyway, in the past 20+ years in Croatia.

Mostly ex-communists govern in Croatia at this moment. Their contempt for democracy and efforts to influence votes that are a matter of personal conscience become apparent in a statement by the president Ivo Josipović, who said he had doubts “whether we need such a referendum. I will go to the referendum and vote against”.

The Minister of Social Politics and Youth, Milanka Opacic, said the referendum “ is unnecessary and we will spend almost one month’s worth of social welfare payments on it”.
Minister of foreign affairs Vesna Pusic has said she will vote no! But, she did not stop there, she actually called the referendum “terrorism against same-sex communities”. Well, Minister Pusic, since you bring the concept of terrorism into this referendum, has it occurred to you that perhaps there are members of heterosexual community who feel terrorised by the opinions on marriage held by the same-sex community that threaten their beliefs and values? You would do extremely well to apologise to Croatian voters before Sunday 1 December 2013 and allow everyone, whether gay or heterosexual to vote on the referendum question in accordance with their own conscience. The result is pure then.

The Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic said: “There are no warm intentions in that referendum. Marriage is not jeopardised because of same sex communities but because of the way of life, mad race for money and capital … I hope this is the first and the last time such a referendum will be called …until then I hope we will bring changes …I will attend and vote against.”

In fact the whole of the government is against the referendum and they express that in concert, in public, with the obvious intent to interfere and oppress free will and free democratic expression of the people as individuals, voting according to their personal beliefs and conscience.

Just as a reminder here, in Slovenia, in 2012, a government bill to legislate for same-sex “marriages”, despite having been supported by a strong majority in Parliament, was overturned by a popular referendum. Situation with governmental anti-referendum media outpour was similar as is now in Croatia. Needless to say ex-communists who reject full democratic opportunities, without interference from government, are the culprits.

The debate around so-called “LGBT rights” evidences the growing disconnection between the ruling “elites” and the population. The debate around the so-called “LGBT” rights have seen the government place “minority” rights in front of “majority” rights to the point where the “majority” is blatantly discriminated against. We have seen it in Vukovar, where the “majority” – the victims of brutal war crimes – are discriminated against and trodden upon by the government as opposed to “minority” – Serbs. We see it now in the lead up to the referendum on marriage; to the government representatives (e.g. minister Pusic) the conscience and opinion regarding marriage of the majority is called terrorism against minority (gay members of community)!  To Pusic, expressing ones beliefs through democratic voting constitutes terrorism!

What a sad, sad time for democracy!

The government opposition has not been very vocal as to how they will vote at the referendum and perhaps this is because they respect the right of every citizen to vote in accordance with his/her conscience without the burden of public lynching of their own conscience, to which they have an absolute right, whatever form it takes: for or against the referendum question. Indeed, leader of HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union, Tomislav Karamarko, has caved under media pressure to say something and said: “ I will attend the referendum and circle ‘Yes’. Perhaps I should not be talking about this but I see the President and Mrs Pusic … are saying they’ll circle ‘No’. Why then wouldn’t I say that we, I will circle ‘Yes

Looking at all this it seems to me that the Croatian government is determined to ignore the results of the referendum if “Yes” vote wins. The Minister or Public Administration, Arsen Bauk, has defiantly announced that, in case the referendum is successful (and the introduction of same-sex marriages thus becomes impossible), a new bill will be drawn up to grant homosexual partnerships the same legal rights as marriages.

Alas, arrogance and brazen contempt for democracy are by now known to be the trademarks of the ex-communist lobby now evidently in Croatia coupled with the so-called “LGBT” rights lobby.  I say this regarding “LGBT” lobby without malice, but with the realisation that this lobby seems to have strayed into dangerous and alienating waters, which do not respect nor recognise everybody’s right to conscience and expression of that conscience regardless of its orientation within the realm of society’s nucleus that is “marriage”. This is a sad reality for much could be gained to benefit all, socially, were citizens’ lobby groups independent of government and opposition.

While “LGBT” lobby occurs in primarily NGO forms there are non-funded associations in Croatia and I am of the opinion that no group or organisation should side with government when it comes questions of voting, of referendum They, like the church, are seen as representing citizens and not the government; governments come and governments go – citizens groups remain.

The encouraging thing in all of this awful mess and awful oppression of free will, though, is that multitudes of people at large in Croatia see that it is not right for government to interfere with referendum, to try and influence conscience votes, to try and oppress people from feeling good about expressing their private and personal votes and thus shaping the society. The real civil society is awakening in Croatia, slowly, and this is encouraging for real democracy – but I fret nothing short of a “march on Bastille” will cure Croatia of communist mentality.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

“BREAKING NEWS” 25 November 2013: I have just heard (after posting this article) on a Croatian HRT news program that the government of Croatia had produced over the past weekend TV spot to run on television in which each government minister recites their position on referendum question but it has pulled the plug on this. The TV spot will not run. Instead, the government representatives will appear in individual addresses on the issue as representatives of their respective political parties rather than the government. This is a significant shift in the government’s “modus operandi” and one practiced in democracies of the world. So, this is good even if the government has already done much damage in democratic process on referendum issue. One wonders whether an EU lobby group has pulled them into line?!

Comments

  1. Michael Silovic says:

    I would like anyone to prove to me how any same sex marriage has any impact on anyone’s life? It has no impact on goverment at all and goverment should not be dictating to anyone about whom they love and chose to be with. For me the real issue here is who are we to say no to anyone? Many of these GLBT people fought for our countries freedom , defended other peoples lives and I am sure many have died in the name of freedom and independence to give our country a new chance. All people deserve to be treated equally and with respect for who they are. Is it fair to ask someone to give of their life to protect our homeland and then say you are a second rate citizen and not deserving of the same respect and treatment as others?I am sure that if it were a life and death issue that people would accept the blood of a GLBT person to keep themselves alive and i can be certain that has happened during the war but they did not know when they received the blood.I think our goverment would better serve the people in helping to rebuild our country rather then to involve themselves in such an issue. It behooves me to think that this goverment will do anything to divert the real attention from their failed policies. In either event if it passes or not everyone regardless of sexual orientation should be treated with respect because we are all Croats first. The GLBT community are all someones mother , father, brother , sister and yes they are all someones children including GODS!

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    • Totally, Michael – the referendum question came from the people, for the people and government should stay out of it. How a government official will vote when he/she as individual/private citizen approaches the referendum is their personal matter – NOT A MATTER OF GOVERNMENT STANCE – EXCEPT, OF COURSE, IF YOU’RE A COMMUNIST THEN YOU THINK THAT YOUR PERSONAL STANCE SHOULD BE THE NATIONAL STANCE AND NO NEED FOR REFERENDUM! Just shocking!

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  2. Marion Mann says:

    Disaster! Given this I take my hat off to Croatian people who endure such misery and interference by the government in their most private values and opinions. It is now clearer than ever, perhaps, why they fought so hard to defend their will to secede from communist Yugoslavia. Whatever result comes out of this referendum on marriage, whether it should be heterosexual or include same-sex couples as well, will be the expression of the people who voted. Good luck and wear the badge of democracy well – governments come and go and people stay! Don’t forget that!

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  3. Tatjana Radmilo says:

    Dear Ina,
    I am not a communist, I am not gay, and I will vote AGAINST…REMAINDER OF COMMENT DELETED BY ADMIN AS IRRELEVANT TO REFERENDUM PROCESS ALSO PERSONAL ATTACKS ON PERSONS FROM CITIZENS INITIATIVE ARE IN BREACH OF THIS BLOG’S COMMENT POLICY

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  4. Tatjana Radmilo says:

    And I forgot to add, there are mory physically healthy people than people with disabilities, so why do we need to try and organize thing for the disabled people if they are a minority anyway?

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    • Well Tatjana Radmilo – it’s beyond me to understand why you bring the needs of people with disabilities into a referendum on marriage, but I can only guess that you angry at the referendum. So, do yourself a favour – accept the reality that people have chosen to have referendum, the Constitutional court has ruled it is legal and should go ahead, and vote as you see personally fit. As to the needs of people with disabilities they are really not a minority – perhaps they are seen as such in Croatia but I do not see them as minority. I see people with disabilities as persons who cannot do many things in life without help from others. The physically disabled, for example, need suitable access such as ramps or other equipment modification to enjoy that which they are entitled to as citizens etc etc under the law. Those with sensory disabilities need different kinds of assistance and/or augmentations etc etc.

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    • Michael Silovic says:

      Tatjana Radmilo do you have an aging parent? Can they get along with out assistance? Many of our parents and grandparents are disabled due to aging and need help and special treatment are you saying that they do not deserve it? what about all of those injured during the war that fought for your freedoms that became disabled do you think we should cast them aside? I wonder if you hid in the communist fox hole with the rest of the cowards while the war was on going only to come out and enjoy your freedom at the hands of someone else blood and expense and now want to dismiss these people.Just remember the next time you see a disabled veteran and look real good at your conscious and in your heart and think what this person has done for you and your country.
      ~ Za Dom Spremni ~

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  5. To call people terrorists because of their opinion about what a marriage should be is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE and a CRIMINAL DEFAMATION! How does Pusic still hold her position in government!? That is so awful, awful, awful! Beyond contempt!

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    • Well put and spotted Miso Sorbel. A minister who is supposed to represent all the people said that about the referendum brought about by 750,000 signatures/people! I’m waiting to hear Pusic got the sack from the government!

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    • therealamericro says:

      Pusic’s bile as of late is nothing compared to her aiding and abetting the enemy by endlessly repeating the already back then discredited enemy propaganda during a time of war.

      Pusic’s position is like the rest of the Yugoslav ultranationalist Belgrade loyal unitarists / sham “leftists” in Croatia: preach tolerance and engage in intolerant hatespeech against those whose views challenge theirs.

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  6. From Facebook: Ina, Holy Matrimony has only existed since the Council of Trent, in 1563, and since mankind has been knocking about for 7000 years or so (in terms of societal cooperation) it’s very much a recent thing.
    As for Milanović openly stating his opposition to the referendum, well well done him! This is nothing more than a Church driven plot to remove rights from a minority within a country which has seen naught but such behaviour from countless oppressors over the last number of centuries. No one in Brussels approves, but Croatian law allows for such a vote to be held. Have it pass and Croatia can kiss goodbye any number of companies who would consider moving here, the country will find itself under scrutiny for European funding, and most importantly you’ll have those of the LGBT community considering whether they want to stay in the country of their birth or not. You have to ignore Milanović’s political past – Croatia is a Republic, not a Democracy – the onus is on us all to oppose laws which discriminate against a minority. Only 60 years ago the Croatian government, such as it was, marched its Jewish population to its death. Yet everytime I see anger against the Ustaše element of your past (and Josipović is right when he says an element remains here), all I see in return is handwringing and bemoaning the evils of Communism. TWO EVILS INA… TWO! Just because one replaced the other does not forgive the fact that one only lasted a short time.

    Croatia is facing bankruptcy, and all that Europe sees is a backward stick-in-the-mud theocracy. Only last week some local government, having not received a kickback, denied the sale of its only potentially profitable business (a static business, it could not move) to a foreign company. That’s 250 million Euros lost. In Osijek we see Strabeg suing the local govt there over a rigged tender that saw the Austrian company denied permits to operate despite winning…

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    • I get what you mean Laoi, but it is up to the people to express their will without being oppressed for it by the government. Whatever results come they are results from the people and NOBODY has the right to devalue that result or suggest one is better than the other… hm, I guess the church is part of the community just as LGBT lobby is so I would not devalue the input of either, however, the fact that LGBT seems to be fueling the government to come out with statements is something I do not tolerate well nor do I think it is a fair thing to do because government does have certain power. Sorry, cannot agree with you regarding putting government’s political/communist past aside – it is important in this discussion on democracy and free expression without government interference. This article is not about what marriage should be but about government’s interference with democratic process

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      • Goodness me, I’m agreeing with nearly everything I read here (a first?). A political party should not take a position, I agree , unless they had this matter in their manifesto, none did. However, the church is equally guilty by using peoples’ faith in a corrupt and rabble rousing way to try to get them to vote “For”. There’s not much integrity about is there?
        If anyone is interested, I’m “protiv” for all the reasons Michael Silovic so eloquently set out.

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      • Well Pavao, I think you misunderstood – political parties can and do take positions on referendum questions everywhere BUT not AS GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES. That is the difference. Political parties are as much of community orgs as are political parties.
        Every has a right to vote according to their conscience and both For and Against are equally valuable because they reflect people’s conscience on the matter. BUT re government I am so glad they have now backed away from appearing as gov officials and are set to talk as reps of political parties.

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  7. YO, CROATIAN PEOPLE: GET RID OF VESNA PUSIC FROM MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND FROM EVERY GOVERNMENT OFFICE! SHE HAS JUST CALLED A LEGALLY VALID REFERENDUM, PROCLAIMED SO BY YOUR COUNTRY’S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT – TERRORISM! What kind of wilderness are you tolerating in your government?!

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    • Unbelievable, I agree, Spectator. There goes any hope of upholding respect for court rulings in Croatia (which by the way is covered by law/respect of court rulings I mean).

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  8. From Facebook: Further, Ina, the Church *is* part of the community, yes, but the Constitution must always be secular in nature. It has to be above reproach – there can be no favourites and ALL must be equal in the eyes of the laws. Otherwise we find ourselves living Animal Farm, where “all Croats are equal, but some are more equal than others”.

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    • Laoi O M – your comments are most welcome and yes all must be equal in the eyes of the law. I have a particular issue with government representatives giving out their personal views on the matter and appearing as though it is an official government view. Including the one where minister Pusic calls the referendum as terrorism! A referendum that Croatia’s Constitutional court had ruled legal, weeks before she uttered that atrocious statement. Of course, even political parties are part of community and political parties are normally included in what they release as their “party position” but in the case of these government officials none have stated they spoke for their parties except HDZ whose president stated something like “this is our position” that is a normal practice in democracy. Party lines are of course different from government lines as people can realise the difference. Even if a political party is in government, the party line IS NOT GOVERNMENT line…I’m sure you get my drift with this…

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  9. I don’t think the Government opposition to the referendum is because they are ex-Communist, but because they know they are bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and EU anti-discrimination law, which support gay marriage. In entering the EU, Croatia has become obliged to follow EU morality as enacted in law.

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    • Yes Clare that is a valid point, my issue is that government as such should not interfere with referendums in a way that threatens any group of people or makes them feel bad (for or against) – after all marriage is still a matter of personal conscience, i.e. whether same-sex marriages should be given the status of traditional ones. For my thinking government is there to enact laws, monitor etc and laws arise from expressed/evident needs etc. Had the government officials spoken as representatives of their political parties that is a different thing, and, of, course political parties have their views on this matter all over the world and slowly, progress is made. But to my point and to my gladness I have just heard news that is breaking for me: the government of Croatia had reportedly prepared a TV spot to appear regarding the gov ministers views on referendum but they have pulled the plug on that and will not speak as representatives of their political parties. That is progress in this matter. I do not believe that marriage is defined as a human right in the convention but a right to family life etc in accordance with state laws etc is. As to anti-discrimination that certainly stands that people cannot be discriminated against because of sexual orientation etc – and rightly so – but here we enter the complex realm of whether it is discrimination when in fact the definition of marriage is not breached etc…Croatian Constitution court has two weeks ago ruled that the referendum question is legal and may go ahead and, without any bias to any point of view or conscience – since that is the case the government should steer away from oppressive means to put the view of their members forth as gov reps.

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  10. In the animal kingdom I never heard of any animal LGBT, except in human spices, so, therefore, I don’t approve,,,,, if the humans are going to survive

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  11. This issue is an important social issue that the Croatian people need to debate and educate themselves on before voting based on emotional response. Slogans and political maneuvering only hurts both sides. A referendum is part of democracy and should be respected by all. The issue for me is not LGBT; that is easy. The issue is one of democracy and how this Croatian Communist government disrespects it and the Croatian people. For a government official, a minister, to call a referendum an act of terror is irresponsible and criminal. She should be fired immediately. In a democracy the people’s will is always transmitted to the government in some form or another. The fact that the Croatian people went to the extreme of a referendum is a symptom of a government out of touch and unresponsive to the needs of the people. It’s time to for this government to go…instead of a referendum on marriage, it’s too bad the croatian people didn’t petition to recall the government or call a referendum on early elections!

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  12. Thank you for the post, Ina! And I agree with you!

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  13. When it comes to the issue of gay marriage, both sides of the spectrum annoy me. Both the ones for it and against it because to me it seems like no one is willing to actually have open minded discussions and compromises. While I can respect LGBT persons as individuals, I cannot respect the LGBT lobby attempting to influence society at large by almost forcing governments to basically suck up to them.

    I do not believe marriage is a human right. I do think that marriage these days has lot its traditional spiritual meaning and I believe this is as a result of letting governments have too much power over marriage, making it simply into a legal contract that can be broken when one or both parties get sick of each other. People are treating marriage as a means of earning financial gain and power over their partners and my solution would be to simply make the government butt out of marriage. Let individual churches decide for themselves on who they will marry – keep religion out of politics and politics out of religion. Get rid of legal definitions of marriage. However, as far as creating legal contracts between couples, keep civil unions/contracts for such purposes. These contracts would give the legal benefits both homosexual and heterosexual couples seek, (tax, inheritance, next of kin, etc) whilst allowing marriage to be a spiritual union. I think this could work, but it would take actual discussions between different groups and some compromise and not a “them vs us” mindset. It would require people, especially those from the LGBT community, to stop looking to the government as their friend – Vesna Pusic does not care about you, but about your votes which would give her more power to continue her corrupt practice. People, get that through your head and get the government out of social, personal and spiritual issues. Limit the power of the government over individuals, I cannot stress this enough.

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    • What an ordered world it would be if it could be the way you propose, Kat. But I guess when it comes to lack of discussion it’s because of the union of “marriage” and what it should be in the future – which is as I see a conscience vote – it is a most sensitive issue particularly due to traditional values and even if there were discussions in the open, at voting time everyone will or should vote according to their own conscience on the matter.

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      • I think you are right Ina, in that everyone will vote according to their conscience on the matter. However, what I am trying to say is that in this day and age we need to try and reach some sort of compromise on the issue and it is more important to look for solutions based on logic rather than emotion. I have my reasons for wanting the government out of marriage entirely, mostly because I think it’s completely destroyed it through their meddling, but that’s a topic for another day.

        While I don’t think marriage is a human right, what it comes down to is that marriage offers couples certain benefits which are not given to same sex couples, even those in de facto relationships. If marriage becomes a spiritual/personal practice and legal contracts are left to deal with other aspects, then in theory, the church does not have to worry about potentially being forced to go against their beliefs by force of the government. (And can we really blame people for feeling this way, given the history of Croatia?) This could also potentially eliminate other problematic aspects to government-based marriage, such as unfair proceedings in family courts. However, this change would be a slow process and sadly, all I see is more and more people in this world wanting to see instant changes. The problem with instant changes, especially in a country like Croatia, is that no matter what the constitution says social attitudes towards the LGBT community will not change through any government-based intervention, EU or no EU. In fact I worry we’d sooner see more negative attitudes towards the LGBT community as people begin to feel they’re being forced to change their views (or hide them) due to popular opinion influence by the West,government officials, pop culture, etc. This would be sad to see because no matter what, people deserve basic human respect and individual freedom.

        No one should try to stop others from loving whoever they want to love. It’s really not my business what two consenting adults get up to, but I think it’s about time we try to break down the topic of marriage logically and look for answers which would benefit both sides and create an atmosphere which breeds more understanding and respect between people and of course, gives them the liberty to live their lives as they see fit. There’s a lot more that can be said on this and related issues, but I hope that brief breakdown makes a bit of sense. I am certainly not against the LGBT community, but I just think we’re trying to solve social issues by making them legal issues and going about it all wrong.

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      • Thank you Kat, it will certainly be interesting to see what the Referendum will bring. I truly believe that in such matters as covered by the Referendum on marriage people should be allowed to vote according to their own personal beliefs without any pressure or interference from the outside. The Referendum debate has turned nasty in Croatia, both camps spoiled by extremist misunderstanding of the other by prominent individuals. That is a shame because it gives out the feeling that there is intolerance when in fact there is nothing to tolerate or not: marriage is marriage – a personal choice.

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  14. Speaking of terrorism… The origin of marriage was created (way way back before religion was invented) to legally protect a women – engaged in sexual relationship with – a man legal protection from being terrorized as a harlot and stoned to death.

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  15. Like

  16. Hello 🙂 there are two separate issues here that are being pushed together. The undemocratic nature of the government, and then the rights of gay people to get married. I have been reading your posts so I think you are the best person to comment on the government. As for the gay marriage debate, if two people find love in this crazy world. Man and woman or any other combination and they want to spend the rest of their lives together, then hopefully you will agree that as fellow humans they have that right. They are not asking you to join them in their marriage. They are asking that you respect them as a person to let them decide what is best for their life and happiness.

    Gay rights are important, we as a society either support each others individual freedoms or we try to limit someone’s freedoms because they are not the same as us. Gay people are discriminated against, because they are expressing who they are, and who they love. That is a trait of cruelty to a fellow human being. God is love. Being gay is not a sin. Hatred is a sin. Lets support each other, if you don’t agree with gay marriage, then simply don’t get married to someone of the same sex, but don’t be cruel and try to stop someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with the person they love just because their marriage is not the exact same as yours. Gay couples want to grow old with each other too. When that heart breaking moment happens, when one partner dies, they want to be sure the other one is cared for. Stopping gay marriage is saying your opinion in someone else’s private life is more important than their private life. That is the same kind of thinking that lead to the war and the communist dictator’s control. If we live in a free society then people have to be free to live their life not according to your personal idea of normal, but their own.

    I think the government has picked its side very carefully. It is morally wrong to say who’s love is legitimate and who’s isn’t. The government is showing their tolerance to the world by backing the gay marriage vote. You shouldnt blindly oppose everything the government does, because even bad governments get some things right. Please respect your fellow man’s right to live and love with who they want.

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    • frankly 1900, thank you non your comment and points you make go towards “live and let live” foundation towards which all should subscribe under the conditions that these exclude crime, abuse, oppression etc. What the referendum is dealing with is trying to have marriage defined in the Constitution and that can go any which way as the results will depend on how voters vote, express their conscience. Discrimination against person because of their sexuality is a terrible thing and certainly banned by law. I and democratically minded people would argue that it is not right for government as such to give opinions or take sides publicly on issue at hand, on referendum issue. Political parties do take sides and they should; government is the constant that must respond to needs of the people and not create those needs. Everything the government does should not be blindly opposed but it must be opposed if it is against the principles and practice of democracy – after all government officials are nothing more than servants/representatives of their constituents votes/ people but in a Country such as Croatia, which is still a developing democracy, much needs to be changed in this process including the strong political elitism that’s often intimidating to ordinary people who in fact are more important than the political elites/government itself. I for one respect the democratic process and the need to allow every single voter to vote freely as he/she sees fit on the issue and there is no discrimination in this because the referendum question is legal. I as an individual citizen will accept any result of the referendum as valid because it is the sum of collective conscience in society.

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  17. therealamericro says:

    Funny how the same people who defend SFRJ, where homosexuality was a crime in the criminal code, are now its most vociferous proponents.

    Unfortunately, the issue of gay marriage is the referendum issue and not this government, or enacting the same lustration laws that were seen in all of the fmr. Eastern Bloc states save former “Yugoslav” states.

    Good people doing what the bad guys want I.M.H.O.

    The one good thing is that if the referendum works, actual important issues may be follow-up referendums.

    FYI, I am voting for the referendum because the Pink Hand is out of control. You can’t show up to protests in assless chaps with some dude yanking you with a dog collar waiving a sign “I want respect” when you don’t respect yourself.

    No reason couples should be smooching in parks in front of kids and in the streets (ok at night who cares). There is signs of affection and then there is making a scene.

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    • Thank you therealamericro – succinct and real!

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      • If the homosexuals are allowed to be call husband and wife, I guess the next think we will be legal to have 2 or more wives …, just gives a time

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      • Some religions do allow 2, 3, 4, 5 wives… rb. Funny how there are none that allow 2, 3, 4, 5 … husbands :D. But that put aside, I get the sense of what you are saying. We live in “interesting” times.

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    • Vote, vote, vote – we must all get to the polling place, therealamericro. The situation around the referendum is truly getting out of hand, it’s as though people are not supposed to have an opinion about their own lives so far and for generations to come.

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  18. I have nominated you for the Versatile blogger award. Please collect it here.
    http://drkiranacharya.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/versatile-blogger-award/

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Croatia – Google Blog Search | Croatia: Ex-Communist Camp Engages Oppression In Marriage &#823… […]

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  2. […] my previous post on the issue of this referendum I was most concerned about the government’s interference and pressure – such […]

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  3. […] on traditional marriage, one would hope that all is well in the land of democracy. However, given the behavior of the ruling government in the lead-up to the referendum, this is certainly not the […]

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