Last month almost one-fifth of Croatia’s population signed a petition launched by a Catholic Church-backed group calling for a referendum on whether to introduce a constitutional clause defining marriage as a “union of a woman and a man”. At the end of its virulent two-week campaign, the “In the Name of the Family” group had collected 710,000 signatures in the country of 4.2 million people. The group’s spokeswoman Zeljka Markic told AFP it had launched the campaign after seeing events “that worried us” in France, where gay marriage was legalised in May amid a wave of sometimes violent protests.
And Gay Star News says the Catholic Church is manipulating people into signing it:
But gay rights activists have accused the Catholic Church of immorally manipulating the public into signing their names to oppose same-sex marriage and also of encouraging violence. If a straight couple wants to be married in a church, or have their child baptized or attend a Catholic school, in many places they are being told they must sign the petition demanding a referendum to ban same-sex marriage in Croatia. As over 85% of people are Catholic, the religion is deeply embedded in the Croatian culture.
Nice – didn’t know blackmail was a Catholic value…