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Romanians vote on constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Romania is voting this weekend on whether to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Currently, the law defines marriage as a union of “spouses.” The conservative EU nation decriminalized homosexuality in 2001, but it neither allows same-sex marriage, nor recognizes same-sex unions sealed abroad. In order to be valid, the two-day vote needs a turnout of 30 percent. The referendum was approved after calls from the Coalition for the Family, a group of conservative and religious NGOs, which has long campaigned to replace the word ‘spouse’ in the constitution. The leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democrat Party, Liviu Dragnea, said that many fear “what has happened in other countries, such as legalizing marriage between a man and an animal, could happen here.” Opponents of the referendum are urging the public to boycott the vote, warning that a ‘yes’ vote would further infringe on the rights of minorities.

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