Croatian govt proposes new rights for gays

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Less than two weeks after Croatians voted to ban gay marriage, their government has proposed granting same-sex couples new legal rights.

The "life partnership" legislation the government presented to Parliament on Thursday would allow gay couples to officially register their relationship, inherit property from one another, and represent each other as next of kin.

They would not be allowed to marry or adopt children.

The government's legislative majority means the bill is likely to pass, even though a majority of Croatians voted in the Dec. 1 referendum to ban gay marriage in a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union's newest nation. Croatia's constitution will be amended to impose the ban.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said Thursday the legislation upholds "good European standards."