"Everybody said I should get married." Because Gloria is HIV positive, she thought marriage was out of the question. It could have happened while she was at the hair dressers or at the hospital where she worked.
"Marriage is the only union enabling procreation," Croatian Cardinal Josip Bozanic said in his message to the followers.
The state electoral commission, citing initial results, said 65 percent of those who voted answered "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman? The country of 4.4 million, which became EU's 28th member in July, has taken steps to improve gay rights, but issues such as same-sex marriage remain highly sensitive in the staunchly Catholic nation.
The referendum was called by the "In the Name of the Family" conservative group after Croatia's center-left government drafted a law to let gay couples register as "life partners." The Catholic Church leaders have urged their followers to vote "yes" in the referendum.
"Defining marriage between a man and a woman doesn't belong to the constitution.
A nation is judged by its attitude toward minorities." Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that "this is the last referendum that gives a chance to the majority to strip a minority of its rights." The EU hasn't officially commented on the referendum, but has clashed with Croatia over some of its other laws, including an extradition law that has prevented its citizens from being handed over to the bloc's other member states, which Croatia had to amend under pressure from Brussels.