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Bigotry loses in Romania

by IdiotSavant Wed Oct 10th, 2018 at 01:47:47 AM EST

Romanians went to the polls over the weekend to vote in a constitutional referendum to ban same-sex marriage. Or rather, they didn't - because the referendum failed due to miserably low turnout:

A referendum to establish a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Romania has failed - after only a fifth of voters bothered to turn out.

Romanians were being asked whether they wanted the constitution changed to specify that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

But just 20.4% of eligible voters cast ballots - short of the 30% needed.

The referendum appears to have been a plot by the government to distract from ongoing corruption scandals by appealing to bigotry. Fortunately it didn't work. Those who opposed the change boycotted the poll, holding boycott parties instead. Unfortunately Romania still doesn't recognise equal marriage in law - but at least there's not a constitutional prohibition on it. Meaning that that failure to recognise can easily be overturned by the European Court on Human Rights when it catches up with the rest of society and recognises such legal bigotry as fundamentally incompatible with the ECHR's affirmations of equality and non-discrimination.

sadly such bigotry does seem to be making a comeback in many places (Ireland honorably excepted).

The forces of conservatism seem to be having a bit of a moment and a pushback. Gay, women's and minority rights are under attack all over europe, even in the UK.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 12th, 2018 at 07:39:24 PM EST
not Bulgaria
So far, the 2011 Istanbul Convention has been ratified by 18 EU members: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 15th, 2018 at 08:09:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a demonstration of US coverage of the question by National Public Radio.

NPR | Romanian Referendum Seeks To Broaden Same-Sex Marriage Restrictions In Eastern Europe, 6 Oct
"American conservatives have also gotten involved in Romania's referendum."

NPR | Romanian Referendum To Ban Same-Sex Marriage Fails, 8 Oct
Viski "blames American groups like Liberty Counsel, an organization that opposes same-sex marriag

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 14th, 2018 at 03:25:49 AM EST
Failure to modify Romania's constitution with discriminatory language as to fundamental civil rights of its citizens accomplishes a few tasks. (1) conforms the "supreme law" of the land with EU constitutional requirements; and (2) legitimates democratic goals of Romania's consituents.

Furthermore, this "victory" endorses Romania's and ECJ authorities to define human rights. European Court of Justice Rules "Spouse" Applies to Same-Sex Couples for EU Residence Directive (June 5, 2018) The ECJ ruling applies to similarly situated complaints against attempts by the governments of Latvia, Hungary, Netherland, and Poland to abridge the civil rights of any one.
judgment of the court (EN)

Who is a 'family member'?

Recital 31 of Directive 2004/38 states as follows:
`This Directive respects the fundamental rights and freedoms and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In accordance with the prohibition of discrimination contained in the Charter, Member States should implement this Directive without discrimination between the beneficiaries of this Directive on grounds such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic characteristics, language, religion or beliefs, political or other opinion, membership of an ethnic minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.'
Whether or not the government will remedy --repeal-- antithetical civil code in accordance with this judgment remains to be seen. I hope it will. The alternative is a trap of "identarian" political calculus in which US government has fallen for no good reason what so ever.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 15th, 2018 at 09:00:02 PM EST
Nothing in the US Bill of Rights or the entire constitution discriminates between citizens.

Litigation and legislation to specify application of civil rights are responses to abject failures of state and federal governments to apply equal protection of constitutional rights and civil code to everyone.

This is an absolutely pernicious remedy for deconstructing institutional and perceived "privileges" granted groups or individuals as you all have seen.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Oct 15th, 2018 at 09:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gov itching for a bruising by the EC, pulls a Poland
Romanian Gov't Move Against Prosecutors Draws Criticism
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said chief prosecutors for the anti-corruption agency and the agency that investigates organized crime will need a minimum of 15 years' experience, almost double the current requirement. Regular prosecutors at the agencies will need to have worked for at least 10 years, up from the current eight years. Analysts said some prosecutors will lose their jobs under the new regulation.

General Prosecutor Augustin Lazar said the measure would hamper many ongoing investigations, including a probe into Romania's bloody 1989 anti-communist revolution and an investigation into the police's response to an anti-corruption protest in August, which left 450 people needing medical treatment.

"It's difficult to see how these cases will be finalized," Lazar said, adding disrupting prosecutions could lead to the European Court of Human Rights making judgments against Romania.

A strange turn of events since the Constitutional Court referred this key civil rights case to the ECJ.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 16th, 2018 at 12:22:11 AM EST

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