Agerpres, September 2nd, 2017
Liviu Dragnea, leader of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) and President of Romania’s Chamber of Deputies stated that the marriage, as soon as the new parliamentary sessions starts, his party is committed to prioritizing the voting to approve the referendum initiative in the Senate, the other chamber of Romania’s Parliament. He publicly stated at a recent party convention:
Next week the citizens’ initiative for the marriage referendum shall need to be ratified by the commission and a report shall need to be adopted so that we can approve it at the next voting. This law needs to be adopted quickly, as it is necessary to have also the final voting in the Senate in order to have a referendum to modify the Constitution regarding the family definition. You know we have made a commitment to this issue and our intention is that this autumn we get to organize the referendum to modify the Constitution on the topic of family.
On May 9th, 2017, the other chamber of Romania’s Parliament approved the citizen’s initiative: 232 deputies voted in favor, 13 abstained and 22 voted against it (of the 22 votes against it, 15 came from USR, the party newly entered into the parliament on an anticorruption campaign and agenda).
The initiative is about amending Romania’s Constitution, the fundamental law, by clarifying in it the definition of marriage (and consequently the definition of family, which is seen as based on the concept of natural marriage in Romania’s Civil Code).
The Family Coalition, a group of pro-family organizations has gathered over 3 million signatures in support of this initiative, which they sent (together with their petition to change the fundamental law) to Romania’s Senate in May 2016.
The following change is being proposed in Romania’s Constitution at Article 4, Para 1: instead of „marriage is the freely consented union between spouses”, the new formulation would be: „marriage is the freely consented union between one man and one woman”.
After the Senate, the second chamber of Parliament ratifies the initiative, a referendum shall be organized, calling Romanian citizens to pronounce themselves through vote for or against this change in the law.