Thousands of Croatians have rallied in central Zagreb against a European agreement designed to protect women, saying it threatens traditional values, BBC reported. They object to the Istanbul Convention on the basis that it would legitimise same-sex marriage and improve rights for transgender people.
Parliament has not yet ratified the convention but it has been approved by the centre-right government – prompting dissent from within its own ranks, conservative groups and the Catholic Church.
“We are against gender ideology,” Zeljka Markic, a conservative leader, told the Associated Press. “The definition of gender separated from sex was not agreed on the level of the European Union or on the level of the Council of Europe.”
“I think this is a turning point for Croatia,” protest organiser Kristina Pavlovic told Reuters news agency, “when we must decide whether Croatia will choose a preservation of family and traditional values or go another way imposed from outside, from Brussels, or like what we see in Canada where there will be a Parent One and Parent Two instead of mother and father.”
Cover pic by Reuters