Amnesty worried that Romanian Constitution changes on definition of family might cause discrimination

Human rights group Amnesty International is concerned by the amendment to the country’s fundamental law the Constitution, in which the family is defined as a union based on the marriage between a man and a woman, according to Amnesty International expert Marco Perolini.

“The right to found a family is part of the human right protected by international treaties Romania is part of, including the international convention on civil and political rights. Human rights, including the right to found a family, must be respected for everybody, without any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Marco Perolini, quoted by local news agency Mediafax.

In the expert’s opinion, the family concept means more than just marriage, as the European Court for Human Rights determined that this concept also applies in the case of partners of same-sex couples, people that are not married or single parents.

The Commission for revising the Constitution passed earlier this week an amendment to the country’s fundamental laws stating that the family is based on the freely consented marriage between a “man and a woman”, a phrase that replaces the word “spouses” – present in the current text of the law.

The commission tasked with revising Romania’s Constitution adopted some other changes to the fundamental laws this week, such as the amendment stating that discrimination is banned, including for color, sexual orientation and genetic traits, or the amendment forwarded by Social Democrat (PSD) deputy Gheorghe Emacu, which says that Romania’s coat of arms should appear on the country’s national flag.

Another amendment adopted by the commission was the one proposed by the PSD, through which the concept of regions is to be enshrined in the text of the Constitution: “The territory is organized, administratively, into communes, cities, counties and regions. Under the law, some cities are declared municipalities.” According to the local media, other amendments proposed for Romania’s division into regions were rejected.

Moreover, the commission tasked with revising the Constitution rejected all amendments proposing that the national day be on May 10. Romania’s national day is celebrated on December 1, the day that marks Romania’s unification, in 1918.

The new Constitution has to be passed by the Romanian Parliament after which a referendum to ratify the changes will also be organized, sometime later this year.

Irina Popescu, [email protected]

(photo source:

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