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The referendum to outlaw marriage equality has won an overwhelming majority with 65% of Croatians answering ‘yes’, the vote also receiving support from 104 members of Croatia’s 151-seat parliament.

Croatian referendum asked the question: “Do you agree that marriage is the union between a man and a woman?”

Almost 90% of Croatia’s population of 4.4 million are Roman Catholic.  A petition drawn up by a Catholic group backing the referendum received more than 700,000 signatures.

“Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This is the key difference between a marriage…and other unions,” said Croatia’s Cardinal Josip Bozanic in a letter read out in churches.

It has been confirmed by a government spokesperson that the constitution would now have to be amended accordingly.

Saturday saw hundreds of LGBT rights supporters protest in Zagreb.  Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic had argued that the referendum threatened people’s fundamental right to happiness and choice.

Croatia is the newest member of the EU, having joined on 1st July, 2013.

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