Croatia may introduce civil partnerships for gay couples

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Croatia may introduce legislations to allow same-sex couples to form domestic partnerships, and also to recognise marriages between members of the same-sex performed elsewhere.

The announcement comes from the Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, although there appears to be some confusion over what he meant. The Associated Press reported Mr Milanovic as saying Croatia will ‘recognise same-sex marriages.’ However, Mr Milanovic told reporters: “We are talking about registered partnerships, which is a somewhat higher standard than what we have now.”

A spokesperson for the Croatian Embassy in London told that it is unlikely that Croatia would introduce equal marriage in the fullest sense of the word, as is the case, for example, in the Netherlands and Canada. However, the legislation might pave the way for ‘same-sex marriages’ performed at other states to be recognised in Croatia.

Mr Milanovic belongs to the Social Democratic Party, which during its campaign promised to improve things for LGBT people in the country. “That was our program. I hope that the people of Croatia accept it, it’s simply a form of social empathy and decency and expanding freedom,” he said.

The right-wing opposition, Croatian Democratic Union, has strongly rejected the plan, and was supported by the influential Catholic Church in its position. The former prime minister, Jadranka Kosor, had once claimed that Croatia “cannot and will not give consent to the legalisation” of equal marriage.

Croatia held its first ever-gay pride parade in 2011, in the coastal city of Split, but was disrupted by thousands of homophobic protesters, who threw stones and firecrackers at those marching in the celebrations an incident which led to a quick resolution by the European Parliament, urging the government to offer protection to its LGBT citizens as it negotiates becoming member of the EU.