Same-sex marriage: Romania ignoring ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in May that Romania must allow same-sex marriages or at least registered partnerships for homosexuals, giving Bucharest until March 2024 to present corresponding measures. However, the government is refusing to prioritise the issue on the grounds that the Romanian population rejects same-sex marriages.

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Deutsche Welle (RO) /

What is not forbidden is allowed

The constitution does not stand in the way of an amendment, the Romanian service of Deutsche Welle stresses:

“Article 48.1 states: 'The family is based on freely contracted marriage between spouses, on their equality and on the right and duty of parents to provide for the upbringing, education and instruction of their children.' The constitution does not prohibit same-sex people from marrying and even allows LGBT couples the freedom to adopt children. It is a truism that if a thing is not prohibited, it is permitted. If we fail to recognise that Article 48 refers to both heterosexuals and homosexuals, we remain trapped in an idea that does not accept diversity.”

Spotmedia (RO) /

Sanctions sadly unlikely for now

Spotmedia fears that Romania can afford to stick to its guns for now:

“Legally, nothing is likely to happen any time soon. In the event of non-compliance with the ECHR judgement, Romania will be placed under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which will issue rulings and warnings - but that's it. After all, Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights allows the nuclear option of the Council of Ministers suing the recalcitrant state, which can result in the withdrawal of voting rights and even expulsion from the Council of Europe. But that's a long way off. Even states like Turkey which have committed much more serious violations have not yet been sanctioned in this way.”