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Current Events Reflection: Same-sex Marriage in Romania

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In our constantly developing world, same-sex marriages remains one of the most controversial issues around the world. In Europe, there are only 15 countries who legally perform and recognize same-sex marriage as of March 2018. At this moment, Romania, a country in southeastern Europe, is put on the limelight as it releases a referendum to denote marriage only as a union strictly between a man and woman. In fact, Romania’s current constitution declares that “one family is established on a deliberate sanctioned marriage of the spouses, their full equality, along with the rights and the duties of the parents to assure the upbringing, education and instruction of their children”. This controversy highlights the widely split between the East-West countries in Europe regards to same-sex marriages or unions and if the Romanians are truly ready to redefine the interpretation of marriage to a union solely between a man and a woman, in place of spouses.

In recent studies, it was found that Romania had only legitimized homosexuality in the year 2001. And as of this day, same-sex marriage is still not approved. Therefore, there is no doubt that this sudden demand to change the constitution will most likely cause difficulties of change in the near future. The referendum being established in Romania is headed by the Mihai Gheorghiu, the president of the pro-referendum civil society group called Coalition for the Family. According to Gheorghui (2018), in line with the constitution, this referendum was made to conserve the representation of marriage which is only bounded by a man and woman. Coalition for the Family strongly believes in maintaining the characteristics of being a Christian and its long established values and traditions which is why the group appeals that this change in the constitution is essential to sustain marriage and secure the family. This referendum is also greatly supported by the ruling Social Democrats, the prevailing Orthodox church which supports the drive to change the constitution and in Romania during this time, about 85% of the people are recognized as Orthodox Christians. There is also a surprising support from the government as they decided to extend the voting days into two instead of one.

To add to the support, Mihai Gheorghiu and its group, Coalition for the Family acquired at least three million signatures to begin the growth of votes, as the people of Romania sum up below 19 million. However, this referendum remains not acceptable to most Romanians specifically those who are part of the LGBT community. About a thousand of Romanians have already taken to the streets their dismay and protests at the recent political motives noticed as weakening anti-corruption capabilities. Alongside, more than 40 representatives from the European Parliament, have addressed their feelings of disappointment to the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă due to the establishment of this referendum.

According to CNN (2018), through the implementation of the referendum, it is believed that this may puncture a hole in Romania’s agreement under the EU law and international human rights law, as well as intensifying homophobic acts and discrimination against the gay community in Romania. Černušáková (2018), also states that if this referendum is implemented and authorized, it would extremely affect the lives of families. The right to family life would be a reduced as this referendum appears as a pursuit to deny them this basic right. Also, Barna (2018), who opposes to change the constitution, called upon the government to immediately correspond a resignation for apparently wasting the money of the public which is worth 40m Euros. In addition to this, according to Deletant (2018), the opposing voters had presumed that this tactic was created to divert the attention of the public from the current and growing corruption scandals present in the government, and rally the conservative advocacy of the political party of Liviu Dragnea.

To much anticipation of the results of the voting, it came to a shock to many that the referendum on establishing to ban same-sex marriage in Romania failed as only 20. 4% qualified voters casted their ballots. In this case, short of the 30% needed to reach the minimum percentage. Sadly, Romania remains to have one of the lowest rates of acceptance towards LGBT rights, as they have no legal protection for same-sex couples, either in partnerships or marriage with repeatedly a high percentage of homophobic and transphobic hate most especially in rural areas of the country. However, upon following the recent failed elections, it came to my senses how many Romanians are open to the idea of achieving equality for all in the case of marriage because after all, marriage is a civil right. No matter what one’s nationality, religion, race, or social standing is people would still get married because marriage is central and a basic right.

In general, I believe that it is the individuals personal choice and free will to choose what they want to do in life and certainly who they end up being married to. It is true that in the past, homosexuality was seen in a negative light, however as the world continues to evolve and constantly change, people slowly start to grasp and become more open to the possibilities of having equal rights. For me, there is nothing wrong with being gay because I believe that at the end of the day every individual must be able to enjoy the same benefits. As long as the obligations are properly met, I do not see the need to ban same-sex marriages because through rejecting the option for homosexual relationships/marriages, this would only open more doors for discrimination which disrupts the basic human right of a person.

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Current Events Reflection: Same-Sex Marriage In Romania. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from
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