The Senate (Romanian Parliament’s upper chamber) has voted the citizens’ initiative to amend the Constitution, an initiative that says family is based on the marriage between a man and a woman, not as currently stipulated, consented between spouses.
The Senate was the decision making body in this case, with the initiative being previously voted by the Chamber of Deputies in May last year.
On Tuesday, out of 136 senators, 127 have attended the plenary sitting of the Senate, with the draft to revise the Constitution being voted by 107 votes to 13 and seven abstentions.
The ruling Social Democrat Party has decided during the parliamentary groups sitting in Neptun, on September 1, that the referendum on redefining the marriage in the Constitution will take place on October 7.
Except for USR senators, the overwhelming majority of senators attending the sitting and representing all parties, have voted for the initiative. While PSD’s Serban Nicolae argued that it is every child’s right to be raised in a family with a mother and a father, USR accused PSD of campaigning. Some Liberals have endorsed and voted the initiative.
SocDem Serban Nicolae said that the current term in the Constitution mentioning the word „spouses” used to underline the freely expressed consent, as in the interwar period, there were many marriages of convenience, concluded by agreements, and that could not be called „family”. The PSD senator argued this is not the case anymore.
USR senator, Vlad Alexandrescu told the plenary sitting that the senators who endorse this initiative care less about family or tradition, but they are just campaigning on the referendum’s expense”.
„You delayed this issue so many times, and you decided to vote it now, to divert the attention from the justice laws and criminal codes (…) A vote against is not a vote against family. PSD really wants a referendum about traditional values? What about holding a referendum about traditional values, about the criminally convicted to be banned from taking public office, to allot 6 percent for Education, to remove plagiarism?”, Alexandrescu argued.
The Chamber of Deputies voted the citizens’ initiative to amend the Constitution for redefining marriage in may 2017. The referendum was asked by the Coalition for Family and the initiative was signed by 3 million people.
ACCEPT: Romania’s Senate is raising homophobia to state value
Representatives of the ACCEPT association retorted that the Senate „is raising homophobia to state value and sacrifices the constitutional protection for numerous families in Romania”.
The association fighting for the gay’s rights also says that the vote in the Senate is breaking the right to privacy and to family, adding that the hope of luring the conservative voters will turn the families of all Romanians in collateral damage, as the impact is already felt particularly by the single-parent families, by the extended families with parents left to work abroad and by the same-sex couples.
ACCEPT says the right to privacy and family is protected by article 26 and article 48 of the Constitution. „The right for family life is inalienable and belongs to all people, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation, according to the European Convention for Human Rights,” reads ACCEPT press release.
ADF International hails vote
On the other hand, ADF International hailed the Senate’s vote, arguing that International human rights experts urged the Parliament to listen to public opinion. “We have encouraged the Romanian Parliament to protect and promote marriage as the union between one man and one woman. This union is timeless, universal, and unique.Our society should strengthen marriage and the family, not undermine it. Allowing the referendum to take place is the right decision,” they say in a press release.
Swedish embassy in Bucharest posts pro-gay video clip
While the Senate in Bucharest voted to hold the referendum for the traditional family, Sweden Embassy to Romania posted a video clip on Facebook featuring the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Bydén while attending a LGBT parade in Stockholm and singing an Elvis Presley hit.
“Last month, the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Bydén joined Europride in Stockholm to show the army’s support to the event. Byden also showed his singing talent by performing an Elvis Presley hit,” says the embassy’s post, followed by tags such as: