A quarter of all Romanians want to ban same-sex marriage
A quarter of Romania’s population, around three million people, want to ban same-sex marriage.
The petition to ban equal marriage was created by The Coalition for Family and circulated around the country and in churches.
The group of 23 NGOs, headed by the Orthodox Church, only needed 500,000 signatures to submit the petition to the Romanian Government, but passed their target by millions.
According to MozaiQ, an LGBT rights organisation in Romania, the Coalition for Family will continue with pushing restrictive laws if they succeed in banning same-sex marriage. Bans on abortions, pornography, sex education and divorces are all in the running.
Vlad Viski, president of MozaiQ said: “These days and in the upcoming months, Romania is faced with a major decision concerning not only LGBTI rights, but rather the path it wants to take when it comes to democracy, European values, separation between Church and state, and protection of minorities.”
“It can either choose to go back to a past where abortion and homosexuality were illegal, or it can go forward and stand up for its LGBTI citizens, for equality and justice for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, bodily ability or socio-economic status.”
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Currently Romania, like many other countries in Eastern Europe, does not recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions between LGBT couples.
The groups enlisted thousands of volunteers to collect the signatures. The volunteers knocked on doors, placed advertising in public squares and on TV, and put sign-up sheets in churches.
To pass the movement the group will have to jump through a few hoops first. Approval from the Constitutional Court, a majority vote in parliament and a national referendum are all needed.
But human rights advocates are worried that these things are all achievable and that the group will be able to ban same-sex marriage.
The Romanian Orthodox Church announced it’s plans to ban same-sex marriage in January. Over 85% of Romanian’s belong to this church and a previous poll found that a third of Romanians believed gays should be punished.
Just before equal marriage was legalised in England and Wales, a survey by YouGov showed that over a third of people were opposed to changing the law. While 54% of people supported it, 37% weren’t.