As Romanians Vote on Marriage, Court Orders Equal Benefits

The Romanian government is holding a referendum October 6 and 7 on limiting marriage to different-sex couples. It extended the voting over two days because unless 30 percent of eligible voters participate, the constitution cannot be changed. LGBTQ activists are encouraging people to boycott the referendum in order to kill it. A petition to put the issue to a referendum garnered three million signatures in a nation of 20 million people.

Human Rights Watch said the referendum is “incompatible with being a member of the European Union,” which forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation in its Charter of Fundamental Rights.

On September 27, the high court in Romania ruled that gay couples should have the same family rights as heterosexual couples. That came in a case of a Romanian man seeking to move back home with his American husband. It is not clear how the court’s ruling will hold up if the referendum is approved.