Romania’s top court approves initiative to define marriage as between man and woman
BUCHAREST, Romania, July 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A move to enshrine marriage in the Romanian constitution as a lifelong partnership between a man and woman moved closer to reality with the approval of the country’s Constitutional Court.
The initiative, if successful, would amend Article 48 of the Constitution, which currently states, “The family is founded on the freely consented marriage of the spouses, their full equality, as well as the right and duty of the parents to ensure the upbringing, education and instruction of their children.” The initiative would replace “spouses” with “a man and a woman.”
In May, the Coalition for the Family announced it had gathered more than three million signatures in favor of the amendment, six times what the constitution requires.
The coalition’s Mihai Gheorghiu said at the time that the surplus would be “a signal, a confession, a warning” to political and government leaders.
Once the coalition turned in its signatures, the Constitutional Court had to decide if the objective was constitutional. But according to Romanian American lawyer Peter Costea, it was not a problem because Romanian law has never recognized same-sex “marriage” or civil union, and the European Court of Human Rights does not recognize a right to same-sex “marriage.”
Now that the court has approved the initiative, both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies must also approve it by a two-thirds majority.
Costea thinks the country’s conservative-minded parliamentarians will sign on. However, a 2013 attempt to insert traditional marriage into the constitution faltered when it provoked strong, hostile lobbying by the United States and Western European governments.
But according to Agenda Europe, the Christian news website, “It is believed that a very considerable majority of the Romanian population has strongly resented this interference from outside and remains in strong opposition to the absurd idea of same-sex ‘marriages.’” The final step would be a national referendum.
While the country’s parliamentarians are conservative minded and “90 percent would want to support this,” Costea said, “they might want to wait till after the elections and pass this hot potato on to the next parliament.”
If the initiative passes Parliament, it must garner at least 30 percent of the eligible ballots in a national referendum. Costea said that should not be a problem because “goodness, the latest polling shows 88 percent of the country opposed to same-sex ‘marriage.’ People are absolutely tired of the direction things are moving in.”