UPDATE: Social-democrats want to tie anti-gay referendum with parliamentary elections in Romania
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) wants a referendum on banning gay marriages by Constitution to take place on the same day as the parliamentary elections in Romania. PSD thus aims to mobilize a higher number of traditionalist voters to the polls, which would reduce the chances of smaller political parties to get into the Parliament and would help it secure a majority.
UPDATE: PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on Friday morning that he doesn't want the referendum to be organized on the same day as the parliamentary elections and that the two things shouldn't be mixed. He asked the PSD senators who initiated the bill to withdraw it.
Social-democrat senators Ovidiu Dontu and Titus Corlatean submitted a draft bill to the Senate, on Thursday, to have a national referendum on revising Romania’s Constitution so that it defines the family as being made of a man and a woman. This initiative is backed by 3 million Romanians who signed a petition earlier this year asking for this referendum to be organized.
PSD wants this bill to be voted by the Parliament in emergency procedure so that the referendum is organized on the same day as the parliamentary elections, on December 11, according to local Hotnews.ro. Moreover, the Coalition for Family, a local civic movement that started this initiative, already announced on its Facebook page (on November 3) that the referendum demanded by 3 million Romanian would take place in 38 days.
The initiative has already received favorable reports from the Parliament’s special committees.
PSD may get the National Liberal Party (PNL) to support this bill and pass it through the Parliament quickly. Both parties are interested in getting more voters to the polls at the parliamentary elections, which would, in theory, reduce the chances of smaller parties to reach the 5% threshold needed to get into the Parliament.
If the Parliament votes this bill within the next two weeks, then the referendum will be organized on December 11. Romanians will be called to vote on whether they agree or not with changing the country’s Constitution so that it defines the family as being made of a man and a woman. The Constitution now states that the family is established through the marriage between spouses.
Romania’s civil code doesn’t allow gay marriages. However, the supporters of the “traditional family” fear that the law may be changed sometime in the future, as other EU states already allow gay marriages while others consider it. Thus, they want to ban same-sex marriages by Constitution, which could only be changed by another referendum.
PSD’s strategy for the parliamentary elections also includes voting the removal of 102 taxes in the Parliament and deciding wage increases for several categories of public employees in Romania.