Croatia adopts long-awaited law on gay partnerships

AFP, Tuesday 15 Jul 2014

Croatian lawmakers adopted Tuesday a long-awaited law allowing gay couples to register as life partners, enjoying the same rights as their heterosexual peers except on adopting children.

Gay rights activists hailed the legislation in the largely conservative EU member state, which is strongly influenced by the powerful Roman Catholic Church.

"Croatia made a historic step forward to stand along progressive countries which have already resolved the issue," Iva Tomecic, editor-in-chief of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) news portal CroL, told AFP.

"From now on same sex couples and families can finally legally regulate their unions... knowing that the country where they live, work and pay taxes is treating them as equal citizens," she said.

In a referendum sought by a Church-backed group, Croatians voted last year to amend the constitution to include a definition of marriage as a "union between a woman and a man".

However Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's centre-left government pledged to improve gay rights and adopted a bill enabling gay couples to register as "life partners".

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