Prime Minister and President of Romania clash over LGBT rights

The President and Prime Minister of Romania have clashed over rights of same-sex couples.

President Klaus Iohannis called for tolerance and acceptance of minorities in a speech on Wednesday.

Iohannis said: “It’s important to reiterate one thing I believe; You have to go back to the tolerance and acceptance of each other. I believe in tolerance, trust and openness towards each other.”

Dacian Cioloș voiced his support for the ‘traditional family’ days later.

The debate was sparked as the country approaches a decision on banning same-sex marriage.

More than three million people signed the petition, introduced by religious groups acting under Coalition for Family, to which could lead to a referendum on defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Vlad Viski, the president of MozaiQ, a LGBTI rights organisation in Romania, told GSN:
“Klaus Iohannis’ comments are a first for Romania. For the first time, a major politician is coming out in support of diversity.”

“However, his comments don’t go as far as we want, as Iohannis did not specify that he is referring to the LGBTI community, he avoided using a direct reference to LGBTI people.”

“The prime minister of Romania, Dacian Cioloș, however, came out today in support of the so-called “traditional family”, which is disappointing and shows that the struggle of LGBTI people is far from over,” Viski added.

Hundreds of Romanians condemned Iohannis’ statement, which creates a good illustration of the homophobic and transphobic conversations still going on, explained Viski.

If the Coalition for Family succeed, they are likely to succeed in banning pornography, abortion and sexual education in schools.