Brave lesbian couple tests Romania’s same-sex marriage ban by tying the knot anyway

two brides getting married

A lesbian couple has managed to marry in Romania – despite it not being allowed – and will now be putting the country’s discriminatory marriage laws to the test.

Romania does not legally recognise same-sex partnerships, and although the country’s constitution simply describes marriage as a “between spouses”, its civil code explicitly bans marriage equality.

But Georgiana and Evie, a lesbian couple who tied the knot in July 2022, told VICE News they managed to sidestep the ban because Evie is a trans woman, and has not yet updated her legal gender marker.

The couple met in October 2021, but Georgiana explained that the quick journey down the aisle wasn’t just a lesbian stereotype.

“We decided to rush the marriage because Evie is going to change her gender on her ID. After that, we won’t be able to do it anymore.”

The couple married at Bucharest town hall, and Evie said she arrived expecting opposition to the wedding. She and Georgiana had come armed with printouts of relevant anti-discrimination legislation to ensure the wedding went ahead.

This didn’t stop a civil servant telling the couple they could not be married unless Evie agreed to “go home and dress nicely as a man”, nor did it stop the officiant describing civil marriage as “between a man and a woman” despite this line not appearing in the legally required vows.

Despite incidents like these, Evie and Georgiana did manage to tie the knot.

Their relationship will now put Romania’s anti-LGBTQ+ law to the test – the couple are married, but once Evie changes her gender marker, they will, in law, be a married same-sex couple.

The couple, and the wider LGBTQ+ community, continue to wait for any kind of official response to the marriage.

But if Romania’s recent history is anything to go by, the future doesn’t look promising.

The country’s parliament is currently considering a bill which would ban the use of materials in schools that “promote” being LGBTQ+.

The bill, similar to so-called ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’ bills in Russia and Hungary, passed through the country’s Senate despite warnings from human rights groups it would “demonise and marginalise the LGBT community” and “fuel Russian propaganda and Moscow disinformation campaigns”.

In June, 44 members of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup signed a letter to Romanian officials slamming the “shameful” bill and urging the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, to prevent it becoming law.

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