Three million strong initiative for the family stalled at Romanian Parliament; Parliament urged to allow democratic referendum
BUCHAREST – On 25 April, the Romanian based Coalition for Family and ADF International co-hosted the conference “Referendum for the Family: Analysis and Implications” at the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest. Delegates discussed the country’s civic initiative striving to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the Constitution. The proposed amendment has already gained the support of three million citizens. The conference gathered Members of Parliament across the political spectrum, academia, representatives from all Christian denominations (Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant), and the Media.
Our society should strengthen marriage and family, not undermine it.
“We encourage the Romanian Parliament to protect and promote marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Our society should strengthen marriage and family, not undermine it. The union between one man and one woman is timeless, universal, and unique. It expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life. This is the reason for the citizens’ initiative to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in the Romanian Constitution,” said Adina Portaru during the conference, a Romanian lawyer who works as Legal Counsel for ADF International in Brussels.
A referendum for the family
In 2016, the civic initiative Coalition for Family gathered three million signatures supporting the definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” in the Constitution of Romania. Little progress has been made since the Constitutional Court approved the initiative in July 2016. It is now up to the Romanian Parliament to start the constitutional referendum called for by three million people.
In the meantime, the Romanian Constitutional Court has involved the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of Coman and others, asking whether the definitions of “spouse” and “family member” could be applied to same-sex partners as well. The proceedings could lead to an EU-wide imposition of same-sex marriage.
“We firmly encourage Romania to organise the referendum as soon as possible, to protect marriage between one woman and one man as the fundamental building block of society. A referendum is the utmost expression of a free and democratic society. The voices of three million citizens that have signed the pro-family petition should simply not be ignored,” said Sophia Kuby, Director of EU Advocacy for ADF International.
ADF International filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Constitutional Court that argued for the referendum to be allowed to proceed.
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