Will Romania toughen its ban on gay marriage?

Same-sex marriages are outlawed in Romania. Three million Romanians have now signed a petition initiated by a church organisation for this ban to be enshrined in the constitution. Now parliament must decide whether to hold a referendum on the issue. The Romanian press comments:

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Voxpublica (RO) /

Petition reflects social problems

Those who signed the petition for the referendum were really expressing their frustration at social problems, the political expert Vladimir Bortun argues in the blog portal Voxpublica:

“One can only assume that these three million people are suffering from serious problems. But the fact that they signed an initiative that is utterly irrelevant to them both socially and economically is not merely proof of the social conservatism of a large section of the population, it also highlights the absence of a social movement or political power that fights poverty, inequality and the lack of opportunities in this country. The 'Coalition for the Family' [the organisers of the petition] is profiting from the people's frustration, a frustration that is now tipping over into a reactionary attitude towards a group that is already socially marginalised.”

Digi 24 (RO) /

Learn from the churches' campaign

The Romanian parliament must decide now whether to hold a referendum. It should demonstrate as much resolve as the campaign's initiators, comments TV channel Digi 24 :

“The Orthodox Church, with Patriarch Daniel at the helm, mobilised the priests to gather the requisite number of signatures. … Now, after five months and with the backing of several other Christian denominations, three million signatures testify to the institutional power the Church wields. The parties should follow the example of the churches, whose power to mobilise masses far exceeds their own. None of the parties or political groups have demonstrated such efficiency and powers of persuasion with society. Now we will see whether the parties decide to follow the lead of the Romanian Orthodox Church or act independently.”

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Marriage has nothing to do with Eros

Marriage was never intended to serve the interests of romantic love, the Romanian service of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle explains, arguing that the LGBT community is fighting for a false ideal:

“The LGBT community is always talking about the boundless power of love. … No doubt that's true. All the texts of the universal cultures talk about the amazing power of love, about the power of Eros that overcomes all hurdles and prohibitions. But marriage as an institution, as introduced by Judaism in antiquity and later on by Christianity, doesn't obey the laws of Eros. On the contrary, its aim was to oppose this headstrong divinity. … Our problem is that Eros has become the only criterion and that a marriage of convenience seems like the most dreadful fate on Earth nowadays. When millions of people think this way, homosexuals naturally feel discriminated. But they are wrong, just as the millions of heterosexual men and women who believe passion should form the foundation of marriage are also wrong.”