Romania sets date for referendum to define marriage as man-woman union only

Romania set an Oct. 6-7 date for a referendum to change the constitutional definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, PM Viorica Dancila announced during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

A group called Coalition for the Family has collected 3 million signatures in favor of the change. The lower house of parliament voted in favor last year and the Senate voted earlier this month, making the referendum the last stage needed to enact the change.

Over 3 million citizens had signed a request to hold a referendum in 2016, a request organized by Romanian civil groups in the Coalition for Family.

If passed, the referendum would amend the country’s constitution to define marriage as a union between “a man and a woman.” At present marriage is defined as a union between “spouses.”

The Romanian Orthodox Church has backed the referendum, as have the smaller Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic Churches.

Romanian law allows constitutional changes to be proposed by at least 500,000 citizens, or by the president, the government, and 25 percent of all lawmakers. Parliament must endorse the proposal, after which it faces a national referendum.


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