Article written by Craig Turp-Balazs and published on Emerging-Europe.com platform. It includes input from our team. Photo: Octav Ganea / Inquam Photos
A referendum in October 2018 that, if successful, would have redefined the understanding of the word ‘family’ in the Romanian constitution as “a man and a woman” was crushingly defeated when little over 20 per cent of the country’s electorate turned out to vote, well short of the 30 per cent turnout figure required for its result to be valid.
After the hugely embarrassing failure of the referendum, which cost 40 million euros of public money to organise and would have stripped single parent units of their status as a family and ruled out the legalisation of same-sex marriage for a generation, many people in Romania predicted the end of its initiators, the Family Coalition (Coaliţia pentru Familie).
They were wrong.
While the Coalition is (officially at least) no longer active as a campaign group, it still regularly uses its social media accounts to rail against the Romanian LGBTQ community and their campaign for tolerance and equal rights. It last week reprimanded Romania’s Student Council (Consiliul Național al Elevilor) for calling on school pupils to be more tolerant towards their LGBTQ colleagues.
Romania’s conservatives however have not kept their ire solely for the country’s LGBTQ community. They have other targets too.
“The ultra-conservative movement has contested Romania’s adoption of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, on the grounds of it being a tool of the so-called ‘gender ideology’ agenda,” says Carmen Radu of Asociația FRONT, a Romanian women’s organisation. “It is actively pushing an anti-abortion, ‘pro-life’ agenda that has successfully managed to infiltrate itself into hospitals, where many doctors now refuse to perform otherwise legal abortions by invoking moral grounds, thus leaving many regions with no actual access to abortion; is actively pressuring women from smaller communities, through religious marriage counselling, to remain in violent marriages and to drop charges against their aggressors; and is trying to push religious figures into the political realm and into influential positions, such as into the National Council for Combating Discrimination.”
The most recent target of Romania’s conservatives however has been sex education.Adauga un comentariu