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LGBT rights in Croatia

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Croatia, as a whole, is still considered to be rather conservative, especially the public reactions regarding to LGBT rights and visibility of LGBT people. In last years there are no mass organised or group violent opponents towards LGBT activism and manifestations. However, some severe violations of human rights of LGBT persons happened in 2007, including the attempted to throw five or six Molotov cocktails on Zagreb Pride[1].

Legal statusEdit

Homosexual sex was legalised in 1977. The age of consent was equalised in 1998. Homosexuals are not banned from military service.

The Croatian institute for transfusions (Hrvatski zavod za transfuzijsku medicinu) permanently rejects men who had sex with other men from donating blood (while drug abuse and HIV are listed as separate causes for rejection).

Protection based on sexual orientation in lawEdit

An anti-discrimination law exists in many acts since 2003:

  • Penal Code (2006. Hate crime introduced in Croatia, the first hate crime definition in any European country)
  • Gender Equality Law
  • Law on Science and Higher Studies
  • Media Law
  • HRT Law
  • Law on Same-sex Relationships
  • Labour Code
  • Sport Law
  • Asylum Law
  • Volunteers law (anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression)

Since 2006, the country also has hate crimes legislation covering sexual orientation. This law was first applied in 2007, when a man who violently attacked the Zagreb Pride parade was charged and convicted 14 in prison.[1]

Recognition of same-sex couplesEdit

There is legal recognition of same-sex couples, which allows for unregistered cohabitation since 2003. The law on same-sex civil unions grants same-sex partners of at least 3 years the same rights as enjoyed by unmarried cohabiting opposite sex partners (inheritance, financial support).

In early 2005, the parliament rejected a proposal to allow civil unions. MP Lucija Čikeš, a member of the ruling HDZ party, called for the proposal to be dropped because "all universe is heterosexual, from an atom and the smallest particle, from a fly to an elephant". Another HDZ MP objected on grounds "85% of the population considers itself Catholic and the Church is against heterosexual and homosexual equality".[2]

Gay life in the countryEdit

Tolerance of gay people is growing in the main cities, while the rural areas remain anti-homosexual. There exists a small gay scene around the country, that is however growing rapidly as well as the number of strong lesbian and LGBTIQ activist groups. There is only one gay club in Zagreb, regular gay parties in Rijeka, and several gay-friendly/gay-safe spaces in the rest of the country. The situation is developing in each new year.

In 2002, participants in Zagreb Pride experienced violent public opposition. Some LGBT rights activists criticized the government for lax punishment of offenders, and called this a violation of human rights. Subsequent events in the city have occurred with stronger police protection, and have been free of such incidents.

First hate crime convictionEdit

Police arrested a 25-year-old Josim Šitum and charged him with a hate crime for the incident of the attempted to throw five or six Molotov cocktails on Zagreb Pride in June 2007. This was the first time that someone was indicted for a hate crime since this type of crime was introduced into the Criminal Code in June 2006. Josip Šitum was sentenced by a first instance court to 14 months in prison and 14 months in mandatory psychiatric therapy in February 2008. In his defense he claimed he is "a Catholic and a believer" and that he is "troubled by events such as Gay Prides and wanted to raise awareness about this problem." The court decided to keep Šitum in custody, where he has been for about eight months, until his ruling is finalized.

State Attorney's Office stated after the conviction that they are displeased with the prison duration of the sentence and have asked that it be increased. [2]

Summary table Edit

Homosexuality legal since 1977 Yes
Equal age of consent since 1998 Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment under Labor laws Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech, hate crime) Yes
Same-sex marriage(s) No
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes
Adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays allowed to serve in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes
Access to IVF for lesbians No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also Edit

Notes Edit

Template:LGBT rights in Europe

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