ACTEDO does not support the redefinition of marriage in the Romanian Constitution

19.09.2018 / 12:59 / News

September 11th. The Romanian Senate approved (with 107 votes in favour, 13 against, and 7 abstentions) the bill to revise Art. 48 of the Romanian Constitution as to redefine the notion of marriage as the union between man and woman and not spouses, as the Constitution currently states. The referendum is set to take place on October 7th. UPDATE: The prime-minister, Viorica Dăncilă, announced that the referendum will span over two days (the 6th and 7th of October), to ensure a high voter turnout.

We consider that the referendum initiated by the Coalition for Family (“Coaliția pentru Familie” in Romanian) is a populist action, which turns the LGBT community in the scape goat of Romania’s demographic and social problems and only serves to further divide our society. Moreover: 

•The referendum has NO effect, as Romania does not currently perform same-sex marriages. The Romanian Civil Code clearly defines marriage as “the freely consented union between a man and a woman” (Art. 259).

•The spirit of the referendum is undemocratic and not aligned to the European Human Rights Convention, which grants all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, the right to family life. Furthermore, it opposes European tendencies towards increased tolerance and inclusion: Romania is among the 5 EU states that offer no legal recognition to same-sex couples.

•In order for the referendum to be validated, the voter turnout must be at least 30%, therefore any vote, whether in favour or against the revision, brings us closer to recognising and legitimising an initiative which divides society.

•Organising the referendum is extremely costly: 200 million RON (approx. 40 million Euro) will be taken from the state reserve fund instead of being allotted to health and education, two areas that require urgent action according to the vast majority of the population.


Reminder: Romania does not offer any form of legal recognition to same-sex couples – it does not perform same-sex marriages, it does not regulate civil partnership (including for heterosexual couples) and does not recognise same-sex marriages performed in other states. Recently, The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Romania cannot refuse to grant residency and circulation rights to a non-EU citizen who is married to an EU (Romanian) citizen of the same sex (Coman – Hamilton case).