Romania’s top court decides same-sex couples should have equal rights
Romania’s highest court has decided same-sex couples should have the same rights as straight partners, in a landmark ruling.
The Constitutional Court in Bucharest stated that queer couples deserved a private and family life just as straight people do, adding that they should enjoy “legal and juridical recognition of their rights and obligations.”
The decision was handed down ahead of a national referendum on October 6-7 which could ban same-sex marriage by changing the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International, the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law, a branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association have spoken out against the vote, saying it “panders to homophobia.”
Teodora Ion-Rotaru, who represents Romanian LGBT+ rights group Accept, told the Associated Press that today’s (September 28) court ruling was “extremely important.”
She added: “It says same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as heterosexuals. The court says a same-sex family is worth as much as a heterosexual family.”
Despite the ruling, LGBT+ people in Romania face a hostile culture, as shown by the three million people who signed a petition asking for the referendum on preemptively banning same-sex marriage.
This week, a leading Romanian newspaper was condemned after printing 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, was placed next to a headline reading: “New LGBTQ order.”
It introduced an article which argued that Christians suffer from religious discrimination at the hands of pro-LGBT+ campaigners.
Court rulings have had a positive effect on the lives of queer Romanians though.
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