Romanian newspaper compares LGBT+ activists to Nazis

A leading Romanian newspaper has been condemned for a front page which featured a drag queen in a Nazi uniform.

The image on the front of România Liberă, which also features a rainbow flag on the subject’s red armband instead of a swastika, is placed next to a headline reading: “New LGBTQ order.”

The article, which argues that Christians are suffering religious discrimination at the hands of pro-LGBT+ campaigners, comes as the country prepares for a referendum next month which could prevent same-sex marriage by changing the constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Participants of the Gay Pride kiss, on June 7,2014, in Bucharest, Romania. AFP PHOTO / ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI (Photo credit should read ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Discrimination against LGBT+ people is banned in Romania (ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty)

The vote has been condemned by human rights groups as a “homophobic” move which Amnesty International’s Romania researcher Barbora Černušáková has said would represent “a clear backward step” for the country.

Gay sex was decriminalised 22 years ago and anti-LGBT discrimination is prohibited in all areas as of 2006, but the strength of anti-LGBT sentiment in the country was on full display in this weekend’s edition of România Liberă.

Ionut, a 40-year-old activist who did not want their real name used, slammed the front page, telling PinkNews that it was “shameful and cowardly.”

The cover has been condemned as “shameful and cowardly” (romania libera)

He said the publication was “using an image of Nazis (people who were actively hunting and hurting other people) to portray the LGBT+ community, which is made out of people who are calmly and politely asking for others to treat them nicely.

“How are we supposed to evolve as a country? As a species?” he asked.

“They are using imagery like that to manipulate the masses here, in Romania, and they are actively trying to change the legislation.

“Currently, the legislation states that marriage can only happen between spouses. It doesn’t specify the gender.

People takes part in the Bucharest Pride march on May 20, 2017. Around 2,000 people gathered to celebrate diversity and to express their support for LGBT's comunity rights.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel MIHAILESCU AND DANIEL MIHAILESCU        (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

Attendees enjoy Bucharest Pride (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty)

“When they found that out, they panicked and now they’re trying to change the legislation so it forces marriage to be only between a man and a woman. Shameful,” he added.

The article, which has been published online without the image, uses the longer headline: “The new LGBTQ order. Equality, but not for Christians.”

Its authors, Anghel Buturuga and Cătălin Sturza, write that “from the loss of employment to harassment and suing, to arrest, the abuse is widespread and driven by a socially toxic climate caused by the so-called social ‘justice’ of left-wing activists.”

They add that the widespread religious persecution which Christians are allegedly experiencing in the US and UK is part of “the crisis of the illiberal progressive democracy. No, that’s not an exaggeration.”

Kim Davis was cited as a case of anti-Christian discrimination (Ty Wright/Getty)

Included in the writers’ list of examples of anti-Christian discrimination is Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who shot to prominence when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Last year, Davis travelled to Romania with the Liberty Counsel – a right-wing Christian law group and listed anti-LGBT hate group – to drum up support for banning marriage equality in the upcoming referendum.

She gave speeches all over the country and held meetings with high-ranking officials in the Orthodox Church, which is calling for a same-sex marriage ban.