Romanian referendum to ban same-sex marriage is defeated

A referendum to amend the Romanian constitution to include a ban of same-sex marriage has failed, with only 20% of registered voters casting ballots. Referendums in Romania are only valid with at least 30% voter turnout, but proponents were unable to rally enough interest even with a 2 day voting extension.

Same-sex marriage is already banned in the Romanian Civil Code, but anti-LGBT+ groups who say they fear liberal Western influences want a constitutional ban. This referendum was brought on by a petition started by anti-LGBT+ group the Coalition of the Family and signed by close to 3 million Romanians. Though the polls suggest widespread support for the amendment, local LGBT+ activists take solace in its failure for now.

“This is my dream,” says 28-year-old transgender woman Antonella Villanova, who recently returned to Romania after year of living in Italy. “To be in my country, accepted for who I am.”

Read more at NPR