Dražen Vukotić

The very striking testimony of Mr. Dražen Vukotić, Vice-President, In the Name of the Family-Croatia, showed the power of civil society that brought about the Referendum in Croatia to protect marriage and family in the National Constitution through a constitutional amendment. Representing the president of the association, he described how the recent lack of support for marriage and emphasis on „sexual preferences‟ in public policy in Croatia caused an outcry among the population- once they realized it. It began with obligatory sex education for young children. Fearing that the new laws would lead to parents forfeiting their rights of family and adoption, parents responded.

Research was quickly made and evidence pointed to the pattern of other nations like Spain where one legal concession had quickly led to another. With an extremely well- coordinated campaign, 6000 young volunteers were mobilized, 50 reports were written and 750,000 signatures (20 %of 3.8 million) collected in 15 days. The referendum demanded the inclusion of the wording “marriage is a lifetime union between a man and a woman” in the Constitution. Many government officials and lawmakers expressed their opposition to the referendum. As the youngest member of the EU, it was not simple to go against the “politically correct” trends.

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