Daniel Martinovic – Rainbow Families, Croatia

Ryan Eakins
Alturi Contributor

Daniel Martinovic is the President of Rainbow Families Croatia, an organization advocating for the protection, improvement of rights, and strengthening of connections between “rainbow families” and the public through education, publishing and research, and sharing information.

Daniel Martinovic is an individual that shows the true fundamental qualities of friendship and advocacy. During 2015, he dove into LGBTI work when two of his friends, a lesbian couple, had a child with him as the known sperm donor. He states that he wanted to develop an atmosphere for his friends and their child that would adjust the norm of LGBTI visibility in a country that lacks the positive outreach that other countries may receive. Before this event, he was surrounded by LGBTI cultures and spaces that ignited a flame within him to want to pursue the fight for equality in his borders. Martinovic joined multiple volunteer organizations centered on LGBTI causes and rights and developed various initiatives to aid migrants, and asylum seekers find their new homes. Since then, his primary focus has been to gain legal equality for all non-heterosexual and non-cis people in Croatia. He has made progress by campaigning, working with the media, and coordinating projects with the Rainbow Families Croatia association, a forerunning group fighting for equality.

Rainbow Families Croatia contains many branches covering a broad spectrum of LGBTI issues, with Martinovic honing his work for the legal team. He also states that he will devote time to new education programs so that students, teachers, and government employees can learn about LGBTI issues that should be covered in every classroom. Martinovic mentions that the LGBTI community is so beautiful from the diverse perspectives, voices, and experiences that get to shed light on the issues they have faced in past years. Seeing these individuals tell their stories helps develop the path needed to push for new equality measures within Croatia.

Being authentic in a country that has openly stated its dismissal of the LGBTI community can be daunting. However, Martinovic states that the change is visible. He mentions that “20 years ago, protestors threw tear gas and beat up the participants” at Croatia Pride Events. However, in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift. More couples are joining hands in marriage, showing public displays of affection, and creating new pride marches around the country. Martinovic proclaims that it still varies in different areas of the country.

Nevertheless, advocacy and equality are still moving in the right direction. Seeing that Martinovic works closely with the legal team of Rainbow Families Croatia, constitutions, laws, and judicial affairs are of high interest. He touches on laws about life partnerships, which is the legal document that allows same-sex couples to join hands in marriage. Although the Croatian Constitution states that marriage is between a man and a woman, same-sex couples receive protection on adoption, foster care, and other essential topics related to LGBTI relationships from the new legal initiatives outlined in 2014. The current legal issues facing Martinovic and his organization are lesbian rights for medically assisted fertility treatments. Mentioning that the present legal framework is catastrophic for straight couples and single women, lesbian couples have no access to any service whatsoever in Croatia regarding fertility treatments. Although they seek medical services abroad, it would be nice to have a progressive law on fertility issues so future generations can try to enlarge their families without traveling. With plenty of new support, legislation, and unions of same-sex couples, Croatia pushes into the right direction for the lives of LGBTI individuals within their borders.

Daniel continues to lead the push for LGBTI rights in his Rainbow Families Croatia organization that helps create a society that respects, accepts, and celebrates families from all backgrounds.

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