The first ever same-sex marriage march in staunchly Catholic and largely conservative Croatia, saw the participation of some 400 people. Croatia is set to join the European Union on July 1. "We seek protection of our basic human rights. Our families are not inferior," gay rights activist Sanja Juras told the crowd. "We expect from the government some concrete actions: right to marriage and common-law marriage," she said. The participants marched through downtown Zagreb to the main government offices where they put out a giant rainbow flag and read out their demands. They carried banners reading "Jesus also had two Fathers" and "Different Families - Same Rights." They chanted "Love is Love" and "Marriage for All." The event, organised by gay rights groups, was secured discretely by a few dozen special police officers and took place without incident. "I support my homosexual friends who have the right to make choices and make them legal," Maja, a 38-year-old hairstylist, who came to the march with her two-year-old daughter, told AFP. The march comes a few weeks after a Catholic Church-backed group launched a petition seeking a national referendum on whether to include a definition of marriage as the "union of a man and a woman" into the constitution. Croatia's current constitution does not contain a provision defining marriage and the initiative is seen as an attempt to prevent any future legalisation of homosexual marriages. The group 'In the Name of the Family' said they had collected more than 500,000 signatures in the country of 4.2 million, enough for a referendum to be held. But Juras said it was "completely unacceptable that a human rights issue be put on a referendum." In 2003 Croatia extended the same rights to gay couples living together as to unmarried heterosexual couples, including state recognition of shared assets. The law only applies to gay and lesbian couples living together for at least three years. The centre-left government has announced plans to boost gay couples' rights, without providing many details. Croatia, where the Catholic Church has a strong influence, has held Gay Pride parades every year since 2002, without major incidents but always under heavy security.Source: AFP << Bike Share Service Launched By New York City Confed Cup Bans 'Brazil's Vuvuzela' >> Recommended Reading Protest Against Gay Marriage In Paris Gets Heavy Security Ahead of a mass protest in Paris against a new gay marriage law, with hardline activists expected to mingle among 200,000 demonstratorsl, the French police were on alert. READ MORE Brazil Clears Way for Gay Marriage In Brazil, a top judicial panel cleared the way for same-sex marriage, ruling that gay couples could not be denied marriage licenses. READ MORE Minnesota Governor Legalizes Gay Marriage Bill After Governor Mark Dayton signed a marriage equality law passed by the legislature last week, Minnesota became the twelfth US state to legalize same-sex marriage. READ MORE French President Signs Gay Marriage into Law After nearly a year of debates and protests across the country, French President Francois Hollande has finally signed gay marriage into law. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Daily Calorie Requirements A-Z Drug Brands in India Blood Donation - Recipients More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?