Vote on LGBT issue
BUCHAREST, Romania – On the 12th of May, the Legal Committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies examined a legislative proposal seeking to legalize same-sex civil partnerships, the third proposal of this kind introduced in less than three years. ADF International, alongside Ordo Iuris, submitted a legal memorandum seeing to defend marriage as between one man and one woman and was represented during the debates by allied lawyer, Paul Susman.
Despite the fact that the previous proposals were rejected by a huge majority and that Romanians at large do not support same-sex civil partnerships, this time there was particular pressure on Parliamentarians to pass the bill. Those pressuring the Parliament included MEP Ulrike Lunacek, former MEP Michael Cashman, the Metropolitan Community Churches, European Forum of LGT Christian Groups, Global Justice Institute, and ECPI – Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives.
Before proceeding to a vote in the Legal Committee, the bill had received a positive vote from the Committee for work and social protection and two negative votes from the Committee for human rights, cults and the problems of national minorities and the Committee for equality of chances between men and women.
Present at the debates in the Legal Committee were:
– the representative of the Romanian Patriarchate (Romanian Orthodox Church).
– the Coalition for Family and Constitution.
– the Association “Parents for the Religion Class”.
– the Director of the NGO “Accept”.
– the representative of the “the Democratic Left” Foundation.
– Daniel Ionescu and Mihai Vantu, a couple engaging in homosexual behavior, who stirred the civil partnerships / same-sex marriage debate in Romania in 2013, after having participated in a reality show.
– Paul Susman, who presented the arguments on behalf of ADF International.
In reaching its conclusion, the Legal Committee cited from the memorandum submitted by ADF International. The unanimous rejection of the bill (14 votes against, 0 for, no abstentions) represents “a great victory for Romanian society and the rule of law”, Paul Susman declared, and it “clearly sends out the message that Romania is not willing to legalize civil partnerships, let alone same-sex civil partnerships”.
A victory…clearly sends out the message that Romania is not willing to legalize civil partnerships, let alone same-sex civil partnerships.
The EU does not place any legal obligation on its member states to create same sex civil partnerships or to redefine marriage. Member states have the competence to legalize them or not, if they so wish, based on the principle of subsidiarity, which ensures that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen. While the European Court of Human Rights has made it clear that the European Convention does not guarantee a right to same-sex civil partnerships or same-sex marriage, it has also held that limiting civil partnerships only to heterosexual couples is a discriminatory measure.
There are two fundamental problems with the legalization of registered same-sex civil partnerships: Firstly, same sex civil partnerships are usually an intermediate step towards a redefinition of marriage. Where same-sex civil partnerships have been introduced by law, it has without exception led to claims to amend the marriage law as a second step. Secondly, if same-sex civil partnerships should be extended to heterosexual couples, then the effect is to create a marriage alternative that would make it easier for couples to conclude and to dissolve. Marriage, however, unlike any other form of union between persons, fosters responsible procreation and economic and emotional stability for children precisely because it an institution that aims for lifelong duration. Creating an option besides marriage that gives similar advantages, but which is easy to dissolve, does not lead to more, but to less stability for the next generation to grow up.