Romania is set to hold a referendum which, if successful, will redefine the wording of the state’s constitution to prevent same-sex marriages.
Currently, the Romanian constitution says that family starts “on the basis of freely consenting marriage between spouses”.
Nine judges of the country’s Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that a proposal signed by 3 million Romanians to change the constitution’s definition of marriage was valid.
This opens the door for a referendum to legally replace the wording from ‘spouses’ to ‘man and woman’, effectively removing the possibility of same-sex marriage in the country.
Twenty-eight human rights groups, including Amnesty International, had previously urged the court to reject the proposal.
“It is not in the Constitutional Court’s attribution to decide whether it will admit (same-sex) marriage in our constitution, nor to redefine the notion of family,” Chief Justic Valer Dorneau told state news agency Agerpres, reports Reuters.
“The court had to rule strictly on whether the revision proposal was constitutional.”
Romanian LGBT advocacy groups MozaiQ and TRANSform released a statement expressing their disappointment over the Constitutional Court’s ruling. “The Constitutional Court’s decision … regarding the citizen initiative that aims to … narrow the definition of family and implicitly ban any possibility to legalize same sex marriage is regrettable,” said the joint statement.
“The initiative creates a hostile, degrading and derogatory environment for the LGBT community in Romania.”
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