Today I’m ashamed to be a Croat

It seems we are a nation that is either intolerant of differences or generally doesn’t care at all.

Croatia had to vote today on a referendum whether it will be put into our constitution that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

So, after today, we are going to have an additional clause in it, saying exactly that.

To think that I live among smart, tolerant people was obviously a serious judgment error on my part. Because it seems 65% of voters today think it’s okay to limit the right to marriage. That is, 65% of the 38% of people who actually care one way or the other. As that was the percentage of voters today – 38%.

My heart aches knowing that I live in a country where this can happen and no one can do anything about it (too many idiotic things allowed, leading to such a stupid outcome).

The most incredible thing is that none of the arguments why limiting marriage would be ok is actually based in logic, Catholic religion or common human decency. But the other side kept bringing those up like it were, and now it seems to have worked.

I do wish I lived someplace else where things like this don’t happen and people actually listen to common sense. Aren’t hypocritical. Mean. Or just plain stupid.

Still, it hurts. And I feel ashamed.

So, if anyone has a job offer anywhere that isn’t Croatia, I would be more than willing to consider it.

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35 thoughts on “Today I’m ashamed to be a Croat

  1. Kafkaesque December 2, 2013 at 00:22 Reply

    I’ve been talking a lot with a Croat friend about the referendum, and the resurgence of the conservative, nationalistic groups. I’m sorry to hear the final result.

    I’m not sure I would blame your countrymen so much as I would blame Opus Dei, their power, wealth, and huge influence. My friend thinks they were behind the referendum to begin with, and knowing what I know of Opus Dei’s interference with political initiatives and policies in other countries (esp. on family or gay issues), I’m sure he’s right.

    If it’s any comfort, they held powerful sway in France, influencing similar sort of policies, but the French this year changes their stance on gay marriage. Perhaps Croatia will do the same down the road. A hug to you, my dear.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:35 Reply

      Kafka, unfortunately for me, I don’t find stupidity to be an exonerating factor. Who ever is behind it (and there’s been some rumors here about Opus Dei), people have brains of their own and should use them.
      I do hope Croatia gets back on the way to a liberating future not a misogynistic, patriarchal past (one of the reasons we’re in this mess at the moment) but we’re not making any progress at the moment.
      Thank you for the support.


      • bloodyfrida December 2, 2013 at 15:39 Reply

        I’m hopeful (although I am not longer a practicing Catholic) that some of the new ideas of Pope Frances will make an effect. (I’m a big fan of the Pope!) Perhaps this is a push against what some folks are worried about that he will change?


        • Ines December 2, 2013 at 15:44 Reply

          I have lost faith in the church long time ago (no longer a practicing Catholic either) but I have faith in the new pope. I’m actually amazed that he got my faith in such a short amount of time (I even tweeted to him/his PR service my thoughts on the subject).
          That said, the Catholic church in Croatia was definitely behind this and people were getting instructions at mass how to vote.
          Croatian priests are nowhere near following the footsteps of their leader. For that matter, the original leader either (Jesus).


          • bloodyfrida December 2, 2013 at 15:49

            I have tweeted him too!
            Let’s keep on voting, and raising our voice in other ways, and hope that Francis can steer the Church more towards kindness and love – it’s going to take some time, that’s for sure, because there are a lot of (here I’m going to be judgmental) non-Christians in the Church and other churches, that is for sure.

            I saw a report on TV that Francis is bringing a lot of ex-Catholics back into the Church, esp. young people. (oops I realise that I spelled his name wrong in the other reply I wrote – I need another cup of coffee!)


          • Ines December 2, 2013 at 15:59

            Doesn’t matter how you spelled his name, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t care (and neither do I). πŸ˜‰
            Well, I don’t think I will ever be brought back into the Church as that is an institution that forever lost my respect. I know it’s made of people and people are fallible but they (priests) take upon themselves to be examples and they fail miserably (in most cases I witnessed).
            I’d rather live my life in accordance with what is moral and ethical and retain a small connection to the religion of my childhood.
            Basically, you don’t need a middleman to talk to god if you believe. πŸ™‚


  2. Invisible Mikey December 2, 2013 at 00:25 Reply

    Perhaps you should consider emigrating to Grasse, in the south of France. It’s a world center of fragrance culture AND same-sex marriage was legalized in France last May.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:35 Reply

      Actually, at the moment that sounds like a wonderful idea! πŸ™‚


  3. bloodyfrida December 2, 2013 at 00:25 Reply

    Dear Ines, it’s not much better here in the US either. Well, it all depends on which state you live in here in the States.

    Our town is a very liberal (college) town – we’re in a bubble. So much so that the town was put in a new voting district with a lot of conservative towns so our votes end up being squashed by the greater conservative majority around here. And our state is one of the big ‘swing states.’

    I truly understand and sympathize – I keep thinking we should move to Norway, Denmark,or Canada. Canada is the closest (only a few hours), so maybe I should try there first. Then I think perhaps it’s best that we are here and voting for what we believe in. “They” need to hear and see opposition.



    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:38 Reply

      Bloodyfrida, thank you very much for the levelheaded explanation why we should never give up. We’ve had some messing around with voting districts before but now it’s settled.
      We also at one point had more voters than people living in Croatia as all emigrants were allowed to vote even though they no longer lived here nor paid taxes here (luckily, that’s settled now).
      Hopefully, we’ll deal with this in a better way soon.


  4. laniersmith December 2, 2013 at 06:37 Reply

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Love should be left to the heart and not turned into a political football.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:39 Reply

      Why would you even feel the need to interfere in someone’s life and happiness is just beyond me.


  5. dgambas December 2, 2013 at 09:17 Reply

    I feel the same as you, Ines. As your fellow citizens, my wife and me are shocked with the results in Zagreb and in all Croatia, even my six years old son is disapointed because we teach him how to be a human! And what we got yesterday has nothing with humaneness.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:40 Reply

      Thank you Damir.
      Although hearing about your 6 year old knowing this is wrong makes me believe there is hope for the future.


  6. Olfactoria December 2, 2013 at 09:37 Reply

    Dear Ines,
    I hear you! Here in Austria it is not much better, although we have at least not made any kind of decicion on the issue yet (I know, that is only slightly better than saying no yes to mariage discrimination.) I am sure that it is the strong influence of the Catholic church that is to blame here.
    But you never know… things may change for the better in the future, don’t give up hope! Hugs!


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:43 Reply

      Dear Birgit, I certainly hope Austria doesn’t go down the same path we did.
      I still don’t understand, Spain is a strongly Catholic country and they have no problem with this.
      I won’t give up hope but now I don’t want to ever get married either. I know it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it makes me feel better.


  7. Bellatrix December 2, 2013 at 09:43 Reply

    Lets just state the fact that Croatia already had this statement in the Family Law.
    It wasn’t enough. They pushed someone so non-Constitutional in the Constitution.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 10:44 Reply

      It’s just depressing thinking about how much people want to hurt other people.


  8. Tara December 2, 2013 at 16:35 Reply

    So sorry about this, Ines. It must be so sad and frustrating. Referendums (Referendi?) tend to bring out those who are negative about the issue. Maybe it would have gone the same way if we’d had one in the UK. Being pro marriage equality is the one and only good thing about our current government.

    I’m sure things will begin to change in Croatia once the next generation come into power. Younger people just don’t seem to have this prejudice thank goodness. I know that’s not much comfort now though.


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 17:30 Reply

      It is both sad and frustrating, you’re right.
      The thing is, we now have social democrats in power (and they are a younger generation of politicians) but the opposition is basically wiping floors with them – as seen from this referendum happening in the first place.
      Oh, I certainly hope things change!


  9. Tara December 2, 2013 at 17:26 Reply

    I must apologise first off for giving you a full time job just replying to my comments on various platforms. You just always post stuff I want to chat about πŸ™‚

    This post is spot-on. Turning 40 caused me to have a total fashion crisis. Could I still wear the type of clothes I had been wearing? Did I have to move to stuff that’s more age appropriate? Whjat’s age appropriate for a40 something now anyway?

    This caused me much grief and confusion until I watched a documentary called Fashionable Fashionistas. If you can see clips on You Tube do watch or else here are some pics –

    These inspiring women made me realise that there is a big difference between dressing fashionably and dressing “young”. I haven’t worried about it since. So glad you got those cool trainers in the end. Bet you enjoy wearing them loads more. Now i just need a purple scarf the one in your pic…


    • Ines December 2, 2013 at 17:28 Reply

      Dear Tara, oh you had me laughing now. πŸ™‚

      Are you sure you posted this at the right place? πŸ˜‰


      • Tara December 3, 2013 at 16:24 Reply

        Well I’m glad me being a numpty at least gave you a good laugh after a such a depressing day!

        Might as well leave it now πŸ™‚


    • Tara December 2, 2013 at 17:29 Reply

      Oh Lord Ines, you must think I’m a total nutcase. That was supposed to go on Natalie’s Life-style Branch. I’ve been catching up on all the blogs, minimising them and then going back and commenting. Got in a total muddle. Please delete and many apologies!


      • Ines December 2, 2013 at 17:31 Reply

        Actually I don’t mind it – are you sure you want me to delete it? πŸ™‚


  10. Erica Dakin December 2, 2013 at 21:47 Reply

    And here we have one of the reasons why I tend to think that referendums are really bad ideas…


    • Ines December 3, 2013 at 10:01 Reply

      I’m afraid I understand completely. Now I think the same way.


  11. ulrike December 2, 2013 at 23:55 Reply

    Dear Ines,
    it really is sad and frustrating.
    In Germany, we have homosexual politicians and it is possible to make your homosexual relationship official, but IΒ΄m afraid that if there had been a referendum about these topics there would have been a majority against homosexual marriage. In every country there are hypocritical or plain stupid people… so IΒ΄m not a big fan of referendums either…


    • Ines December 3, 2013 at 10:03 Reply

      Dear Ulrike, here, we probably also have homosexual politicians but they are keeping quiet about it because if they weren’t, their positions would probably be in jeopardy and knowing the rest of our parliament, they would also get insulted wherever they went.
      Unfortunately, Croatia seems to have become a backwater country instead of a European one…


  12. Beautiful Things December 3, 2013 at 00:20 Reply

    I’m sorry to hear about this. Believe me, narrow minded bigotry is definitely not just a Croatian thing. Same sex marriage is legal here in the UK but there are plenty of people who are opposed to it. I think it’s so important to live your life ethically & compassionately and lead by example so maybe one day those narrow minded bigots will realise the error of their ways. x


    • Ines December 3, 2013 at 10:06 Reply

      I know it’s not only Croatia but once you come face to face with it and it influences your whole country, it’s hard to forget about it and not see it anymore. Especially as some of my friends were also voting for the change in the constitution to limit the marriage.
      I can accept that people think differently but somehow I hoped people were generally more democratic and loving.
      Naive of me…
      Thank you for the optimism though. πŸ™‚


  13. Lindaloo December 3, 2013 at 09:41 Reply

    No need for shame, but I do share your sadness.

    The only reason we are fortunate enough to have legal same-sex marriage in Canada is that it was NOT put to referendum. Our federal government is very right wing economically, but to get re-elected in Canada it is necessary to be liberal or silent on social issues.

    Though referenda are seen by many as the epitome of democracy (the people speak directly) they are usually not the best way to achieve legal protection for human rights, especially for minority rights. And, they allow governments to shirk responsibility! Only those who feel very strongly about the issue come out to vote. I think you might want to look at the non-voters as likely to think same-sex marriage is OK but not something that affects them, not realizing that such silence is so damaging to others.

    Referenda are not very good for keeping public services funded either — not many come out to vote in favour of taxes. And, referenda tend to be won by those who have the most money to spend (even more so than in elections of representatives).

    All of which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be delighted to have you, or bloody frida, in Canada — just no connections to job offers.


    • Ines December 3, 2013 at 10:15 Reply

      Thank you for the explanation. I must say it makes a lot of sense.
      The government here is about to change our referendum laws so no questions regarding human rights can ever again be put to vote.
      But they are late doing it. And they generally suck at what they are doing at the moment with our country.
      Btw, I always go and vote because I believe it’s my civic duty. And should be every citizens civic duty. I understand Croatians are completely fed up with politics at the moment, so not voting is also a statement but still, that means you allow for stuff to happen and afterward shouldn’t be allowed to criticize anything as you haven’t stated your thoughts when it mattered. Which of course isn’t what happens.

      As for a job, if it’s meant to be, it will happen. πŸ˜‰


  14. Lindaloo December 3, 2013 at 14:04 Reply

    Ines, I absolutely agree with you about always going to vote. I’m always appalled when i hear people in Canada complaining that voting is too hard because they might have to spend up to 20 minutes in line. Then we see people in some countries walking miles and miles to get to a polling place and waiting hours and hours in line without complaint so they can exercise their precious right to vote, while in oh-so-comfortable Canada the voter turnout goes down with each election.

    I think if people want to not vote as a statement that it is more effective to go to vote and then invalidate their ballot by not marking it or writing “none of the above” or a particular choice or slogan on it. That way it shows that people care (high turnout rate) but that they are not satisfied with the options provided.

    Now, it’s time to take a break and go read something entertaining. By the way, I’m impressed with how much you’ve read this year!


    • Ines December 3, 2013 at 14:11 Reply

      I agree about invalidating your ballot.
      At our last elections there was actually enough invalidated ballots coming up with enough percentage to enter the parliament if it were a party.

      As for reading, I don’t think I’ll ever reach the 100 goal. It’s going to be even worse this year than last, I’m not to 65 yet. Oh well, as long as I have time to read. πŸ˜‰

      Have fun now!


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