Romanian Referendum to Ban Same-Sex Marriage not Valid Due to Low Voter Turnout
If you've been keeping up with my writing, you will know that Romania had a referendum to change the definition of marriage to mean between a union between one man and one woman, which would permanently exclude gay Romanians from marrying. I wrote about it in my article "Romanian Referendum May Permanently Criminalize Same-Sex Marriage" if you want to read more about it. Anyway, the referendum did not pass because of an extremely low voter turnout, according to Global News Canada.
The referendum, which cost approximately $31 million lasted two days and attempted to change the Romanian constitutional definition of marriage from the neutral word "spouses" to "man and woman." Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001 but still forbids same-sex couples from marrying or entering into a civil partnership. Thankfully the referendum didn't pass as there would be no hope for same-sex couples to marry because progress would have been halted altogether.
The two-day referendum was backed by the Civil group Coalition for the Family and was backed by the Orthodox church, other religious groups, and the majority of parliamentary parties. It received three million signatures, triggering the vote. Despite the large number of signatures, the number of voters was seriously lacking. According to Romania's national election bureau, the voter turnout capped at just 20.4%, with at least a 30% voter turnout to be considered valid.
If the referendum had been passed, Romania would have took a step in the direction or religious authoritarianism and while the country is religious as a whole, secular values are still in place. Activists groups urged fellow Romanians to boycott the referendum and they listened, saying things such as that they had better things to do like "canning food and making wine." Romania ranks 25th out of 28 our of EU in terms of hate speech towards LGBT people and while that is certainly excellent, perhaps not passing this referendum will put them at 28.