Pride parade protests parliamentary proposal to prohibit same-sex partnerships
Around 2,000 people have joined in a national pride parade to protest legislation which would block same-sex marriage.
The rally in the Romanian capital of Bucharest saw protesters defy the growing anti-LGBT sentiment in the country and a counter-protest to make their voices heard.
As marchers passed the Russian embassy, they held a minute’s silence in solidarity with more than 100 gay Chechen men who have been detained and tortured, some fatally.
Earlier this month, the lower house of the Romanian parliament adopted a proposal signed by more than three million citizens which would legally make marriage between a man and a woman.
The law currently states that marriage is “between spouses,” but this initiative, passed in the lower house by 232 votes to 22, would set up a roadblock against future attempts to legalise same-sex marriage.
If the parliament’s upper house consents to the proposal, it will go to a national referendum.
In the last presidential election, turnout was 9.7 million – which means the proposal’s supporters would just need to convince two million more Romanians to join their cause, in theory.
The petition was started by Coalition for the Family – a group that’s also anti-abortion – and is supported by US evangelical Christian organisations Liberty Counsel and Alliance Defending Freedom.
Opposition has formed though, and it will not take these developments lying down.
Just look at these wonderful examples of proud young LGBT activists.
The counter-protest saw far-right activists with placards reading: ‘The traditional family is in danger, come together to defend it!’ and ‘The family is based on marriage between a man and woman’.
Donald Trump was even present, in a way.
But he and the people holding his face were hugely outnumbered by pride participants.
It was a matter of thousands against dozens, reports indicated.
The pride rally also saw marchers in the formerly Soviet country protest the gay purge in Chechnya.
However, Russian authorities later dismissed claims of persecution in Chechyna as “false” and “smears”.
After stating that he will co-operate with Russia in the investigation, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied the existence of gay men in the region, suggesting that any homosexuals must be ‘fake Chechens’.
He also pledged to eliminate all gay men in the region before the start of Ramadan, according to reports.
A Russian charity has reportedly freed more than 40 men from the persecution after launching a helpline to provide assistance to the victims.
Numerous shocking stories from the region have been shared, including families who killed their own relatives after finding out the truth about their sexuality.