Croatians are preparing to vote on a historic referendum that, if passed, would constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Citizens will head to the polls to vote on the referendum on Dec. 1st.
<p>The “In the Name of the Family” Initiative collected 710,000 signatures in 15 days calling for the measure, which is seen as an act of “direct democracy.” However, members of the initiative have cried foul, claiming that government and media representatives in favor of same-sex “marriages” have tried to impede the process.
Local sources close to the citizen’s initiative say that they have been met with insults, aggression and even physical assaults while collecting signatures. They also claim that opponents attempted to burn the list of signatures collected.
“The very beginning of the initiative was being publicly ridiculed by a significant portion of the Croatian high politics, especially by the members of the governing left-wing coalition in a number of statements, as also by some journalists on the state-television, as being “discriminatory”, “retrogressive”, “medieval” and downright as “imposing a religious doctrine”, a source within the organization said.
Citing the increasing aggression by government and media representatives, the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights expressed concern over the “criminalization” of conservatives in favor of the referendum.
“Fear of open and free expression of one’s attitudes is appearing as the result of this stigmatization, as this political and social climate endangers the basic human rights to publicly express worldview and political attitudes,” the committee said.
The Committee concluded by inviting Croatians to vote “in accordance with their conscience” as well as encouraging them not to give into fear and pressure. (J.A.E.)