Romania moves one step closer to banning same-sex marriage
Romania‘s lower house has voted in favor of a constitutional change to define the family as a marriage between a man and a woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage.
The vote to adopt a citizens’ initiative supported by anti-gay group Coalition for Family passed with 232 votes in favor and 22 against. There were 13 abstentions.
The Romanian Constitution currently defines the family as based on “marriage between spouses.”
The next step is a vote in the Senate. This would be followed by a referendum on amending the constitution, which needs to take place within 30 days after approval, according to Digi24.ro.
National Liberal Party deputy Daniel Gheorghe said such a change would strengthen the institution of the family.
“The identity and values of the society we live in have lately been under attack around the world; family has become a target. The relativization of morals aims to achieve the relativization of the family. No rights are curtailed by this measure. It is only a clarification of legislation, and a strengthening of what family means in Romania,” Gheorghe told Adevarul.
Romania does not recognize same-sex marriages that took place outside of Romanian borders.
The European Court of Justice could soon rule on the legal status of same-sex couples in Romania as it considers a case initiated by an American citizen and his Romanian partner who married in Belgium in 2010.
Claibourn Robert Hamilton and LGBT activist Adrian Coman sued Romania when immigration authorities refused to recognize their marriage.
The case was then passed to the EU court last year by the Romanian Constitutional Court.
Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2000.