As the organizers of Budapest Pride, we stand in solidarity with the participants of Zagreb Pride, and with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities of Croatia. We condemn the recent homophobic, transphobic and discriminatory developments in Croatia, and we hope that this Saturday’s Pride march in Zagreb will be a success.
Last month over 700,000 people signed a Croatian petition suggesting an amendment to the constitution in order to redefine marriage as the union of one man and one woman and exclude same-sex couples and their children from the definition of family. The organization behind this motion is the group In the Name of the Family, which has been backed by the Catholic Church. In light of these events, the motto of this year’s Zagreb Pride is “This country is for all of us.” The march will take place tomorrow, June 15, in the Croatian capital.
As a result of the motion submitted to the parliament on Friday, a possible referendum to modify the constitution would have severe consequences for LGBTQ people. Such a constitutional amendment would prevent any further steps towards the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, and it would legally entrench the discrimination that is already part of the daily life of LGBTQ people in Croatia.
While in recent months the United Kingdom and France have begun to legally recognize same-sex marriage, LGBTQ communities in Croatia and Hungary have been facing an increasing level of discrimination. The Croatian proposal is analogous to the 4th Amendment to the Hungarian Constitution, accepted in March 2013, which restricts the definition of family to married heterosexual couples and parent–child relationships.
As organizers of the longest running Pride in the region, we assure Zagreb Pride of our solidarity and support. We wish you success in tomorrow’s march, and we applaud your courage and strength in your efforts to stand up against discrimination and ensure the visibility of the LGBTQ communities of Croatia, in spite of the hostile climate.