Zagreb Pride - Political Impact

Political Impact

Since the first Pride held in Croatia, LGBT rights and acceptance for LGBT persons saw significant progress. In 2003, one year after the first LGBT pride in Croatia, then ruling coalition consisted of mostly centre-left parties, has managed to agree and passed a law on same-sex unions. The law granted same-sex partners who have been cohabiting for at least 3 years similar rights as enjoyed by unmarried cohabiting opposite-sex partners in terms of inheritance and financial support, but not right to adopt or any other right included in family law as this law was not part of it, but rather separate law has been created. Registering those relationship was not allowed nor they include rights in terms of tax, joint properties, health insurance, pensions etc. Despite this law being more symbolic rather than practical, it was considered as a milestone in Croatian Law System, as it was the first to recognize the existence of same-sex relationships.

On 11 May 2012, Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović announced further expansion of rights for same-sex relationships with the equivalent rights and responsibilities to those of marriage, apart from adoption.

Croatia also banns all discrimination against LGBT individuals through several laws:

  • Penal Code (includes hate crime legislation and "racial and other discrimination")
  • Gender Equality Law
  • Criminal Procedure Law
  • Law on Science and Higher Studies
  • Media Law
  • Electronic Media Law (anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression)
  • Law on Same-sex Relationships
  • Labour Code
  • Sport Law
  • Asylum Law
  • The Law on volunteering (anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression)

On 1 January 2013 new Penal Code will be introduced with the recognition of a hate crime based on a gender identity.

Political support for LGBT rights in Croatia is significant. At the time of the first Pride, coalition consisted of mostly centre-left parties was in power, providing support for future expansion of rights. However, one member of this coalition was HSS, which strongly opposes LGBT rights. Most of the members of the coalition initially proposed registered partnerships for same-sex couples, but HSS insisted for this to be dropped in order for them to remain in the coalition. Concession had to be made, and they all have agreed on unregistered cohabitation for same-sex couples.

In 2003 parliamentary elections were held, and right-wing HDZ won the majority of seats. HDZ opposes LGBT rights, but they have created several laws that ban discrimination on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as part of the negotiation progress with European Union. They have stayed in power until late 2011 when centre-left Kukuriku coalition won the elections.

Croatian President Ivo Josipović provides strong support for full LGBT rights, along with many other celebrities and centre-left political parties such as SDP, HNS, HSLS, Green List, and Labour Party. He has been one of the most prominent supporters for LGBT rights even before he became president. After he has been elected as a president he has met with LGBT associations several times expressing support.

Vesna Pusić, a member of HNS, is very popular among Croatian LGBTs, and was named a "gay friendly person of the decade" according to the votes from the LGBT community. She has been very much involved in improving LGBT rights while being a member of ruling governments. A member of SDP and ex-Minister for Environment and Nature Protection in Kukuriku coalition Mirela Holy has been a notable supporter of LGBT rights for years, and has participated in every LGBT pride so far. Other supporters for LGBT rights in Croatia are famous actor Rade Šerbedžija, Danijela Trbović, Drago Pilsel, Šime Lučin, Ivo Banac, Furio Radin, Darinko Kosor, Iva Prpić, Đurđa Adlešič, Vesna Teršelič, Lidija Bajuk, Mario Kovač, Nina Violić, ex-prime minister Ivica Račan's widow Dijana Pleština, Maja Vučić, Gordana Lukač-Koritnik, pop group E.N.I etc. Hundreds of people from public life have so far expressed support for LGBT rights.

In 2012, Zagreb Pride has formed an LGBT parents group, whose representatives met the President Ivo Josipović and spoke at 2012 Pride March. One month earlier, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, LGBT platforms in which Zagreb Pride plays role have met with Minister of Administration Arsen Bauk where he has announced several changes of existing laws, and a new law regulating same-sex relationships. Life Partnership Act is one of the proposals for the name of the law, but has not yet been confirmed as the final. Marko Jurčić from Zagreb Pride said that they dislike the idea of this partnership to be called "same-sex" and prefer term "life partnership", open to all genders.

Zagreb Pride Pride History
Year Dates Pride name Motto Theme Estimated attendance
2002 June 29 Gay Pride Zagreb 2002 Coming Out AGAINST prejudices (Iskorak KONTRA Predrasuda) Coming out 350
2003 June 28 Zagreb Pride 2003 Proud Again (Opet ponosno) Anti-discrimination legislation 300
2004 June 19 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2004 Vive la difference (Živjela različitost) Catholic church homophobia and transgender rights 300
2005 July 10 Zg Pride 2005 Proud Together (Ponosne/i zajedno) Registered Partnership Act 100
2006 June 24 LGBTIQ Pride March Internacionala Pride 2006, Zagreb To Live Freely (in 13 languages) (local: Živ(j)eti slobodno) Freedom of assembling 250
2007 July 7 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2007 All to the Pride! Everybody to the Pride! (Svi na Pride! Sve na Pride!) The visibility of LGBTIQ persons and the symbolic “takeover” of public spaces 400
2008 June 28 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2008 You Have the Courage! (Imaš hrabrosti!) Power of togetherness 600
2009 June 13 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2009 for the Open City - Stonewall 40 Participate! (Sudjeluj!) Participation for building a Zagreb LGBTIQ community 800
2010 June 19 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2010 Croatia Can Swallow That (Hrvatska to može progutati) Freedom of sexual expression and the variety of sexual practices 1200
2011 June 18 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2012 The Future is Ours! (Budućnost je naša!) First 10 prides and future that they bring 3800
2012 June 16 LGBTIQ Pride March Zagreb Pride 2010 We have Family! A Millennium of Croatian Dreaming (Imamo obitelj, tisućljetni hrvatski san) LGBTIQ families 4000

Read more about this topic:  Zagreb Pride

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