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Romania considers legislation to allow same-sex partnership

| Monday, March 26, 2018, 11:54 a.m.

BUCHAREST, Romania — A top Romanian politician Monday said the country's ruling party was considering legalizing civil partnerships between same-sex couples.

Liviu Dragnea, leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party, said the country shouldn't “fail to examine the situation of a minority in Romania,” adding “we can't pretend we don't see it or it doesn't exist,” without explicitly mentioning same-sex unions.

His comments were immediately criticized by the influential Romanian Orthodox Church. More than 85 percent of Romania's population of 19 million belongs to the church.

Church spokesman Vasile Banescu said the proposal would “contribute to the decline in the importance of marriage and the family, and change the decisive role the family plays in Romanian society.”

But gay advocacy group Accept welcomed the initiative. It said the “legal protection of these families is extremely necessary” because they do not enjoy inheritance and other rights under current legislation.

Dragnea also said Parliament would vote on whether to hold a referendum on the definition of a family. The constitution currently states marriage is a union between spouses.

Opponents of same-sex marriage want the constitution to specifically state marriage is between a man and a woman.

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