Croatia will hold a referendum on Dec. 1 to consider changes to the country’s constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, a parliamentary commission decided on Wednesday. The commission voted 10-3 to hold a referendum on whether to constitutionally define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Croatia currently has minimal partnership protections in the form of “cohabitation agreements.” The decision comes at an awkward moment for the Balkan country. Croatia officially joined the European Union on July 1, and its LGBTI rights record came under close scrutiny in the lead-up. It was required to adopt a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a condition of EU membership.
The Catholic Church has been pushing hard for a vote, having gathered signatures from 1/5 of the population back in June on a petition opposing marriage equality.