Why this story matters:
After Croatia joined 16 other EU member states in ratifying an international convention whose aim is to prevent domestic violence, protestors came out to say the document paves a road to legalizing gay marriage and promoting homosexuality in schools.
They wanted to make it clear that Croatia, a predominantly Catholic country, doesn't approve of these trends.
There is something comical in the fact that the protesters had obviously not read the document. What is less entertaining it that, in Croatia, conservative factions are currently able to manipulate crowds into opposing human rights in the name of the battle against "gender ideology".
Details from the story:
- The Istanbul Convention is a document created by the Council of Europe to combat violence against women as well as domestic violence. It has been open for signature since 2011.
- The convention defined gender as "socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men."
- Several thousand people in Zagreb on March 24 protested Croatia's decision to ratify the document, saying it forces a new "gender ideology" upon Catholics and others who favor traditional family gender roles.
- Similar backlash in Bulgaria and Slovakia led those governments to reject ratifying it in February.
- So far, 17 EU member states have ratified the document.