Romania "not ready" to recognise same-sex unions, Prime Minister says

In an interview the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, said he felt the country is "not ready" to uphold a European court ruling mandating the State to recognise same-sex unions.

The image shows the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, standing at a podium. He is standing in front of a blue background with a white insignia of an eagle. The Romanian flag is to the left of the image.
Image: @marcelciolacu via Instagram

The Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, has gone on record as saying he believes the country is “not ready” to introduce legal recognition for same-sex relationships.

The statement comes after the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Romania was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to respect for private and family life – the same article that Ireland was found to be in breach of in 1988 following the ECtHR case taken by David Norris.

During an interview with Europa FM, Prime Minister Ciolacu was asked for his opinion on the ECtHR ruling and whether he thought Romania would now consider legally recognising same-sex unions.

He replied that he believes “Romanian society is not ready for a decision at the moment,” adding, “It is not one of my priorities”.

Ciolacu, who is the leader of the Social Democratic Party, continued, “I am not a closed-minded person, I… have friends in relationships with a man, I don’t have a problem with that, I am talking now from the point of view of a prime minister.”

The ECtHR case on granting legal recognition to same-sex couples in Romania was brought before the court by the LGBTQ+ organisation ACCEPT, representing 21 same-sex couples who had previously lodged complaints with the ECtHR about the lack of safeguards for their unions in Romania. 

In the past, each of the couples had expressed their interest to marry in written notices to their local registry, but their requests were denied citing an article that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Moreover, the local registry also rejected their request by invoking a separate article stating that same-sex marriage is “prohibited” in Romania.

As well as finding Romania to be in breach of Article 8 of the Convention, the ECtHR’s ruling, handed down by a majority of seven judges on May 23, 2023, also stated that all members of the European Union are required to provide some form of legal recognition of same-sex unions.

It concluded its ruling by observing that the Romanian state did not express “any intention to amend its domestic law to allow same-sex couples to enjoy official recognition and a legal regime offering protection”.

In the Europa FM interview, the Prime Minister said that he believes that this will not be the last time Romania fails to uphold an ECtHR ruling.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.