Romania: homophobic referendum fails. Time to work towards equality.

Romania: homophobic referendum fails. Time to work towards equality.

Posted on the 08/10/18

Bucharest, Romania – The EHF congratulates the Romanian people for refusing the exclusionary ideas pushed by extremist reactionary lobbies and the Orthodox Church in this weekend’s homophobic referendum. We however remain vigilant that the message addressed by the people will be upheld in practice.

This result comes after a number of controversies concerning the way this referendum was called by a government that hoped to divert public opinion’s attention from the various corruption scandals surrounding the ruling party.

This result was not expected. Let this be a lesson both for populists and for those mainstream politicians who believe they can make political gains by embracing populist views, even in somehow diluted versions. And also for extremist religious leaders. In your own interest, hands off this bigot quackery

, said Giulio Ercolessi, President of the European Humanist Federation.

The bid to introduce a ban on gay marriage in the Constitution miserably failed today in Romania. Despite the support not just by right-wing or extremist parties, but also by the Socialist government and despite the efforts of the powerful Orthodox church, despite the unprecedented extension of opening time of polling stations in order to reach the (very low) 30 per cent of voters necessary to validate the results, the threshold was not reached and the referendum failed.

Opponents to the LGBTI cause are waning as a mere consequence of generational turnover. LGBTI rights have yet to be recognised in many legal systems, discrimination is still in force in many countries, hate crimes may be on the rise also as a consequence of irresponsible political speech. However, progressives are winning this cultural battle and extremists are losing it.

The EHF now calls on Romanian policy-makers to take note of the message sent by Romanian voters. Instead of attempts to limit the definition of marriage for political gains, it is time to work towards full equality when it comes to LGBTI rights.


Other latest news

EHF General Assembly 2020

After being postponed earlier in the year, and moving fully online, the EHF General Assembly finally took place November 7, 2020.  With the fully going...

EHF happy to see first-ever LGBTIQ strategy on equality by the European Commission

The European Humanist Federation is happy to see a first-ever strategy on LGBTIQ equality in the EU. As Humanist the right to exist and express ourselves...

Dutch Humanist Association calls for change in education law

Article 23 of the Dutch constitution calls for freedom of education, allowing those of different beliefs and religions to seek out schools that are ...

EHF at the OSCE calls for equal rights for all beliefs

Vice President Lone Ree Milkær made an intervention on behalf of EHF at the 3rd Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting at OSCE held online on the 9th...