Romanian Senators on Tuesday approved a measure that would pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.
Senators voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum that could change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a union between “spouses.”
The vote comes after Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies last year overwhelmingly approved the same measure.
The vote comes after 3 million Romanians signed a petition demanding that the constitution be changed to redefine marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
The Senate’s vote was the last step before organizing the referendum that could be held as early as October 7.
The government is expected to set a date for the ballot over the coming days.
Under Romanian law, the constitution can be changed after a proposal by the president, the government, a quarter of all lawmakers or at least 500,000 citizens.
Parliament must endorse such requests, which must then be approved in a nationwide referendum to come into force.
Romania’s civil code of rules for relations between citizens already bans same-sex civil partnerships.
The Romanian Orthodox Church supports the Coalition for Family civil groups who gathered 3 million signatures in 2016 to hold a referendum to amend the constitutional wording to an union strictly between “a man and a woman”, from the existing, gender neutral, “spouses”.
The support offered by the Romanian Orthodox Church comes in the spirit of Christian teachings and of the fundamental Romanian values regarding family, the protection and raising of children.
The Romanian Orthodox Church is ‘neither the initiator nor the organizer of this action,’ reads a press release issued last year by the Church.
Photo: Cuvântul Ortodox