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Croatia: First same-sex couple enter civil partnership

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A same-sex couple have become the first to enter into a civil partnership in Croatia.

The strongly conservative country brought in civil unions this year as part of the Life Partnership Act, after constitutionally banning same-sex marriage.

65% of voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage last December, with civil unions passing into law in July.

Civil unions provide some of the rights afforded to married couples, but they do not allow same-sex couples to adopt, and are not consistently recognised internationally.

The couple, who have not been named, married in a closed ceremony in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, with Administration Minister Arsen Bauk among the guests.

Marko Jurcic of the Zagreb Pride group hailed the move as a “major step forward”.

He said: “History was created in Zagreb as the first life partnership was concluded between two men.

“It was a brief ceremony held in Zagreb on Friday that was attended also by Administration Minister Arsen Bauk who presented the two with ties.”

The group’s spokesperson Daniel Martinovic previously said of the new law: “Although the law is a bit conservative and doesn’t enable adoption, it is essential for same-sex couples.

“It gives couples legal recognition, all major rights, and is satisfactory in every way. In addition, we would like to enable lifetime partnerships for heterosexual couples, thus ending this ‘segregation’.”

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