Last Update 21:59
Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Romanians to vote on constitutional ban on same sex marriage

Reuters , Saturday 6 Oct 2018
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2805
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2805

Romanians will vote at the weekend on whether to enshrine in their constitution that marriage must only be between a man and a woman in a referendum that has seen campaigners direct slurs at LGBT people and which activists said is open to fraud.

The conservative eastern European state already does not allow marriage or civil partnerships for same sex couples, nor does it recognise those performed abroad.

Regardless, Romanians will vote on whether to narrow the constitutional definition of marriage from a union of "spouses" at the initiative of a civil society group called the Coalition for the Family, which said the gender-neutral term could see gay couples win the right to marry in the future.

The vote needs a turnout rate of 30 percent, or more than 5 million people, to be valid.

Dozens of human rights groups, which are encouraging people to boycott the ballot, have warned approval would embolden further attempts to chip away at the rights of minority groups and push the European Union state onto a populist, authoritarian track.

Days before the vote, the government relaxed anti-fraud monitoring and limited the options for challenging the result in contrast with regular elections, while the country's broadcasting regulator eliminated a cut-off date for campaigning.

"There are ... no efficient, applicable mechanisms to verify fraud for this referendum," independent think tank Expert Forum (EFOR) said, adding the conditions have created "a climate of distrust in the fairness of the process."

The vote is backed by the Orthodox Church and other religions and won support from all but one political party in parliament.

Some campaign posters and adverts urged people to vote "Yes" to defend family values or run the risk of gay couples stealing or adopting their children. One advert said a "No" vote would enable a man to marry a tree.

"Many fear that what has happened in other countries, such as legalizing marriage between a man and an animal, could happen here," the leader of Romania's ruling Social Democrat Party Liviu Dragnea told private television station Romania TV.

Romania decriminalised homosexuality in 2001, decades after neighbouring countries. It ranks 25th out of 28 EU states based on legislation, hate speech and discrimination against LGBT people, an annual study by ILGA-Europe, an umbrella organisation advocating equality, showed.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.