August 5, 2021

Romania votes divided if it modifies the Constitution to ban gay connections

Romania votes divided if it modifies the Constitution to ban gay connections



The Romanians have begun today to go to the polls to vote if the Constitution should prohibit the union of same-sex couples, in a referendum supported by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which governs Romania for almost two years.

More than 19 million citizens are called to express, both today and tomorrow, if they agree to change the constitutional definition of marriage, currently "between two people", to specify that it must be "between a man and a woman".

Romanian legislation does not recognize marriage between people of the same sex, but the plebiscite seeks to block through a constitutional reform the possibility of approving it in the future.

The referendum will only be valid if you vote at least 30% of the census, but given the risk of low participation, the government keeps the polling stations open for two days.

The decision has been harshly criticized by the conservative parties, which consider the consultation a way to divert the attention of citizens from other controversial decisions.

The polls opened today at 7:00 am (4.00 am GMT) but six hours later, at 1:00 pm, only 2.54% of citizens had exercised their right to vote, reported the Central Electoral Office (BEC), underlining that there were no incidents.

A survey of the demoscopic company CURS predicts that the total participation will be around 34% and that 90% of the participants will vote in favor of the modification.

Although the Prime Minister, Viorica Dancila, rejected that her training was involved in the campaign, many Social Democratic positions have shown their support.

"They know what a traditional family means, a man and a woman who have children," said Liviu Dragnea, PSD president and strong man of the government, who was convicted of electoral fraud in 2016.

The conservative opposition has asked citizens to boycott the referendum, convened at the request of several religious movements, which managed to collect up to three million signatures in favor of the plebiscite.

The National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Salvado Romania Union (USR) consider that Dragnea uses the consultation as a smokescreen given the tension caused by the attempts of the Social Democrats to pass less stringent laws for corruption offenses.

The LGBT Accept organization, which defends the rights of homosexuals, considers that the consultation incites hatred and discrimination and denounces that the harassment of gays has increased since the referendum was announced.

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