Romanian referendum to ban same-sex marriage fails due to poor voter turnout

The country took to the polls over the weekend to decide whether to change the language of the constitution


Words: Steve Brown

A referendum to ban same-sex marriage in Romania failed after it didn’t draw enough voters.

The country doesn’t allow same-sex couples to get married or a civil partnership and last weekend, a referendum was held to try to change the constitutional definition of marriage, a referendum trigged by civil society group Coalition for the Family.

However, as only 20.4 per cent of the electorate turned out, it was below the 30 per cent needed for the vote to be valid – despite the referendum campaign costing £30million.

Election officials announced that 91.6 per cent of people who voted had supported defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

But following the poor turnout, Vlad Viski, of the LGBT rights group MozaiQ, said: “Romanians rejected being divided and hating each other, it is a victory for Romanian democracy.

“Moreover, Romanians rejected the involvement of the Orthodox Church in the state’s secular affairs.

"We believe politicians must now legalise civil partnerships for same-sex couples.”