Romanian Heterosexual Marriage Referendum Voided by Low Turnout

09 Octobre, 2018, 07:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A member of the LGBT community waits for the results of a referendum in Bucharest Romania

The Central Electoral Commission said Monday near-final results showed 91.61 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment to change the definition of marriage - it now says it's a union between "spouses".

Election officials said just 20.41 percent of eligible voters participated in the weekend referendum.

But of the 3.7 million who did show up for the vote, which took place over two days, just over 3.4 million - around 92 per cent - were in favour of the proposed change, the electoral office said.

The rightwing Coalition for Family led the battle for the ballot initiative that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the constitution, even though Romanian law does not now recognize marriage equality.

Around 242,000 people voted against the change and 74,000 votes were annulled, it said.

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To be valid, the referendum needed a minimum turnout of 30 per cent.

The failure deals a blow to the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), which had chose to press ahead with the referendum despite European Union objections.

"We have shown that we can not be fooled by a political agenda that urges us to hate and polarize society", said the group Accept in a statement.

Romanian civil law clearly states marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

The powerful Orthodox church, which had explicitly backed the referendum, conceded defeat, but insisted it had done its "civic and moral duty" in campaigning for the "yes" side.

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