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In National Referendum, Croatia Votes to Ban Marriage Equality

By Lucas Grindley

After intense public demonstrations on both sides this weekend, voters in Croatia went to the polls and sided against marriage equality.

AFP reports that more than 65 percent of Croatians voted on Sunday to amend the country's constitution with a ban on same-sex marriage. The process is much like amendments in American states that limit marriage to one man and one woman with a simple majority vote at the ballot box.

The Catholic Church has great influence in the country and led publicly on the "yes" vote side, meaning a vote for limiting marriage.

See photos from the protests on the following pages.

Croatian gay rights supporters hold a picture of Tomislav Karamarko, leader of the conservative opposition Croatian Democratic Union party, reading "Divorced," as they gather for a protest in Zagreb on the eve of the constitutional referendum.

A protester holds a sign reading "Homosexuality is not a choice, hate is a choice" next to riot policemen. More than 1,000 people joined the "No" vote rally.

A woman passes by a billboard set up by a Catholic Church-backed conservative initative that urged a "Yes" vote on Sunday's referendum. The referendum was the country's first citizens initiative since its 1991 independence.

A Croatian woman attaches a message on the Christmas tree erected in Zagreb's main square calling for a "No" vote.

Some 30 gynaecologists and nurses from Zagreb's main maternity hospital gathered in front of their building to voice their support for the constitutional amendment.

Croatian LGBT rights activists hold a banner reading "I vote against" as hundreds marched in downtown Zagreb.

Croatian riot policemen stood guard during protests against the amendment.

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