2 December 2013
Croatian voters have backed proposals to ban same-sex marriages in a referendum. Two-thirds of those who voted approved proposals to change Croatia's constitution to define marriage as 'a union between a man and a woman'.
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Government proposals to formalise rights for same-sex couples prompted the petition. Around three-quarters of a million people signed it - out of a total population of just over 4 million. The Catholic Church is a key part of Croat identity - and many people are socially conservative.
The referendum is an enormous embarrassment for Croatia's government. It tried - and failed - to block the vote through the courts.
Success is a relative concept. Croatia appeared to be moving in a different direction to other western Balkan countries when it joined the EU in July. Now, like its neighbours, Serbia and Montenegro, it has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
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a document signed by many people that asks someone in authority to do something
- key part
(here) very important part
- socially conservative
(here) people who are traditional and who do not like change
feeling of being ashamed by what it (the government) has done or what has happened to it
- to block
- a relative concept
an idea that can mean different things to different people
- a constitutional ban
a law which people of a country must follow that officially says they cannot do something