Bucharest, September 12, 2018
A referendum could be held as early as October 7, giving Romanians the chance to vote on whether to amend their national constitution to explicitly define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Romanian senators voted 107-13 with 7 abstentions yesterday to allow the referendum, reports the site of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The Romanian constitution has defined marriage as the “union between spouses,” since 1991.
Serban Nicolae of the ruling Social Democratic Party commented that the vote was on religious grounds: “We’ve been a Christian nation for 2,000 years,” reports the Tampa Bay Times.
The Romanian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly approved the same measure last year after 3 million Romanians signed a petition demanding a constitutional change. The Senate’s vote is the last step in the process before the organizing of the referendum, which could be held as early as October 7. A final date is expected to be set over the coming days.
Under Romanian law, the constitution can be changed after a proposal by the president, the government, a quarter of all lawmakers, or at least 500,000 citizens. The proposal can come into force with the approval of Parliament and a national referendum.
Though the Romanian Orthodox Church is “neither the initiator nor the organizer of this action,” it gave full support to the Coalition for Family civil groups that gathered the 3 million signatures in 2016, according to a Church press release from last year.
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