Recognition of same-sex unions in Croatia
|Legal recognition of
|†Note: Not yet in effect|
Croatia recognizes unregistered cohabitations for same-sex couples, but with very limited rights and responsibilities. Unregistered cohabitations were introduced in 2003. The situation is expected to change very soon as the new government is in the process of recognizing life partnerships, which will provide same-sex couples with most or all rights and responsibilities to those of a marriage. The Bill is expected to be introduced before the Parliament by autumn 2013 the latest.
Unregistered cohabitations 
In 2003, one year after the first gay 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.
Registered partnerships 
In early 2005 Croatian Parliament rejected registered partnerships proposed by Šime Lučin (SDP) and independent Ivo Banac. MP Lucija Čikeš, a member of then ruling HDZ, called for the proposal to be dropped because "all universe is heterosexual, from an atom and the smallest particle, from a fly to an elephant". Another HDZ MP objected on grounds "85% of the population considers itself Catholic and the Church is against heterosexual and homosexual equality". Medical profession, physical profession, and media did not support these statements, warning that all the members of Parliament have duty to vote according to the Constitution which bans discrimination.
On 11 May 2012, Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović announced further expansion of rights for same-sex couples. At this point it was not known which of the well-known terms such as civil union or registered partnership would be used, but it was certain that Croatian family law would not be modified for this purpose, but rather new law dealing with this issue would be introduced, thus implying that the term marriage will not be used.
On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2012 platforms dealing with LGBT rights have met Minister of Administration Arsen Bauk where he announced further changes in existing laws that will expand LGBT rights, plus new law regulating same-sex partnerships. Name of the law at his point was still unknown, but one of the proposed ones was Life Partnership act. Minister also said that he strongly believes in equality, and that no politician should make compromises about it, referring to several statements of politicians who support full equality, but are willing to make concessions because society might not be ready for certain changes. 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.
Ministry of Administration and the working group responsible for creating a law have met for the first time on 6 September 2012, with expectations for the law to be presented before the Parliament sometime in 2013. On 16 November 2012, president of the working group Jagoda Botički confirmed that same-sex couples would be able to register their relationships at register offices, same as heterosexual couples, but the law would not include heterosexual couples. She said that the group was in the process of creating a list of rights with the help from several government ministries. LGBT associations Iskorak and Kontra expressed their satisfaction with the fact that registration at register offices will be possible, but at the same time have expressed disappointment with same-sex couples being excluded from the family law, thus making it possible for the law to include less rights than expected as a result of political trade and concessions. This would especially affect same-sex families with children, as it is the most controversial area for the opponents of the law.
LGBT parenting 
In May 2012, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Welfare Policy and Youth in Kukuriku coalition Milanka Opačić expressed her support for LGBT parenting and said that Croatia should progress to the point where that is acceptable and tolerated, but not just yet as the current situation could lead to discrimination of children from those families and stated that this is the main reason for taking step by step regarding LGBT rights. However, statements coming from her were not welcomed by some NGOs who stated that there are already children in Croatia who live in same-sex families, and those families are desperate for law solutions to their everyday problems; so she should not be perpetuating discriminatory policies, but rather help to create acceptable solutions and fight against discrimination.
Vesna Pusić has long been a supporter for full LGBT parenting. In July 2012, Minister of War Veterans and a member of SDP Predrag Matić has also expressed his support for LGBT adoption and said that society should not falter in achieving equal rights due to pressure coming from right-wing and radical circles. This was seen as a major step considering that war veteran associations are usually associated with right-wing politics. Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak said that LGBT adoption should be allowed, and expressed his hope that the Government would introduce it by the end of their mandate which expires in 2015. The new law on same-sex unions is expected to be introduced before the Parliament sometime in 2013,[dated info] and it is still yet to be seen how and if it deals with LGBT parenting.
See also 
- LGBT rights in Croatia
- Zagreb Pride
- Split Pride
- Civil union
- Recognition of same-sex unions in Europe
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