Gay from Serbia has been living in Croatia for 4 years and is married to a man from Zagreb: I love this country, I have no problems here (PHOTO)

Their Zagreb story began in 2012 when he fell in love with his partner

A man from Belgrade, Ivan Zidarevic (32) is known as a first Serb who got married to a Croat, and their marriage is also the first partnership for life in Croatia in general. 

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He has been living in Zagreb for four years and he managed to change one rulebook and one law, and he continues his fight for the better and more righteous Croatia, where he wants to live forever and he wants to get citizenship. 

Their Zagreb story began in 2012 when he fell in love with his partner and when he constantly lived between Belgrade - Zagreb as a Serbian foreign citizen because he couldn't get a permanent stay in Croatia where his current boyfriend lived, and his life partner today, Vecernji writes.

Foto: Profimedia/AFP


When the law on Life partnership came into force in June 2014, Ivan's agony was finally over and his life completely changed. His community was recognized as a family, and so Ivan received a personal ID as a member of the family of Croatian citizen, and a five years stay permit, which he will extend next year, and his final goal is to ask for Croatian citizenship because, as he said, Croatia is his country. 

I love Croatia and I respect all of its laws. I want to live here and that is why I do everything I can to make it even better if I can and as much as I  can - Zidarevic said.

He has fought for one of the great changes in 2016 when he helped with his devotion to change the Rulebook on donating blood. 

One day I suddenly left to the Institute of Transfusion Medicine because I wanted to give blood. However, when they understood that I was not a Croatian citizen, they just denied me with the explanation that they are monitoring the epidemiological image of their citizens and that the foreigners could not give blood. This was discriminatory for me, so I complained to both the Office and the Ombudsman and the media. The months of correspondence followed, that at the end, after a year of discussion, the former Croatian Democratic Union Minister Dario Nakic came with the answer that the commission had changed the rules and that in the future and foreigners staying in Croatia for more than a year could be voluntary donors - says Zidarevic.

Foto: Tanjug/AP

He was also active when the Ministry of Family worked on the Law on Social Care and when he noticed in a public discussion that formal and informal life partners were not recognized as caregivers, which, in turn, the current Law on Life Partnership gives them that right. Zidarevic warned the head of the SDSS and HDZ coalition partner Milorad Pupovac about the mismatch of the law, after which this mistake, he says, was changed. He recently joined the public debate on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

He has read the Istanbul Convention several times and did not find the "birth ideology".

- It is a mere manipulation, the goal is not Istanbul to those who manipulate it, but an abortion ban, just like when homosexuals used to push the definition of marriage into the Constitution at the time - says Zidarevic.

On a question will he be active when the law on Abortion is changed, he readily responded that he will and that he sent a memo to the ministry with the question if they are violating the Constitution on the same day when Minister of Health Milan Kujundjic said on TV that the Church will participate in the making of Law on Abortion.

Not because of himself, he said, he and his partner don't want to adopt a child, but for many other homosexual couples who do want to, and they don't have that right like their married godfathers who sued Croatia for not respecting the European court for human rights and not enabling them to enter procedure for adoption. He already wrote to the minister for Demography, family, youth and social affairs, Nada Murganic, the president of SDSS Milorad Popovic, who agrees that the homosexual couples should be given the right, and to president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

Foto: Tanjug/AP, Tanjug/Oksana Toskić

He does not plan to stand still in the adoption of the new Family Law since he has already been upset by the first announcements of the bill, which Minister Murganic said on Friday that they are inaccurate at large extent.

- I was glad when Aleksandar Vucic recently came to Zagreb, although I don't have a positive opinion on the Serbian political situation - Zidarevic said. he is interested in politics and it is not impossible for him to become active, starting from the political parties that are close to him, besides SDSS, Glas, and the party Pametno.


Although many young people are leaving Croatia to go abroad, he and his partner don't have those intentions

- We have no need to go somewhere further than Croatia. I would do that only if someone violated my human rights or if we lost jobs - Ivan said.

But all of his experiences so far have been positive, and as a citizen of Zagreb, he doesn't believe that they will change.

Foto: Profimedia

- We have no need to go somewhere further than Croatia. I would do that only if someone violated my human rights or if we lost jobs - Ivan said.

But all of his experiences so far have been positive, and as a citizen of Zagreb, he doesn't believe that they will change.

Foto: Profimedia

- People often wonder, but I really never had any problems in Croatia, neither as a gay person nor as a Serb - he said.

Since I moved to Zagreb from Belgrade, I switched three jobs.

- I was a waiter and I served guests speaking Serbian language, and no one even looked at me differently. I have only positive experiences and I can say that I completely integrated into society. Perhaps, that is because I live in the center of Zagreb, I hang out with the people similar to me, who think in the same or similar way, but the fact is that there were no problems. I have only positive experiences with the people from work and with neighbors. I eventually get some negative comment on social networks, but that is common - Ivan said.

It is a different story in Belgrade.

When I admitted that I was gay, there was a problem. My family couldn't accept it. My parents accepted me as a person, but they didn't accept my choice - he said.

I keep in touch with the parents who are in Belgrade over the phone, but they haven't visited me in Zagreb and I wouldn't like them to come, because they would think that every choice I made wasn't good enough. They would criticize me for going to the media, for speaking openly about everything.

- When you are a member of a minority, you have to fight to get integrated and that is the only way. That is a constant struggle - Zidarevic says and he adds that he will keep on fighting.

(Telegraf.co.uk / Vecernji)

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