Civil initiative asks Constitutional Court to assess marriage referendum question

11. November 2013.

Representatives of a Facebook civil initiative on Monday asked the Constitutional Court to assess if the referendum question on marriage as a heterosexual union is in accordance with the Constitution.

The initiative has nearly 4,500 members, its representative Natasa Skaricic told Hina, saying it was unacceptable that the referendum called for December 1 should be held without a precise answer to dilemmas posed by the subject of a possible change of the Constitution, namely to define marriage as a heterosexual union.

The initiative believes the objective of the change is to prevent amendment of legislation that would allow same-sex marriage, which the initiative says is against basic human rights.

The referendum, if it enables the proposed Constitution change, will mark Croatia as a country in which a majority democratically deprived a minority of a right without any public discussion of the essence and repercussions of such an event, the initiative believes.

Its representatives said earlier they were appalled by the extent of the government's legal unpreparedness and political irresponsibility because parliament did not ask the Constitutional Court to say if the referendum question was in accordance with the Constitution and if the prerequisites for calling the referendum had been met.

The initiative believes the Court should say if the right to marriage was a fundamental human right; if so, can the referendum be held and if not, what gives the majority the right to additionally protect heterosexual marriage in the Constitution, which is already defined by law.

Although parliament has not asked its opinion, the Constitutional Court can say if the referendum question is in accordance with the Constitution and if marriage should be defined by the Constitution or if defining it by law is enough.