Several European countries have legalized the same-sex marriages, while others admit various types of civil partnerships. Besides, there are cases in which same-sex marriages concluded abroad are recognized. There are also countries in which although there are constitutional provisions stipulating that the family consists exclusively in a man and a woman, there are laws who allow civil partnership, including between individuals having the same sex.
Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) issued a positive opinion for the citizens’ initiative to revise the Constitution, but the judges haven’t pronounced on the substance of the issue – defining the family as the marriage of a man with a woman -, but only on the fulfillment of the legal procedure: number of signatures and the possible infringement of some fundamental rights.
CCR’s decision caused waves of discontent both inside the LGBT community and among their supporters.
The project for revising the Constitution was submitted to the Parliament on May 23 by the Coalition for the family, accompanied by 3 million signatures. Its initiators motivate their approach by supporting “normality”, claiming that the approach “either from the perspective of the religious paradigm, or from the sociologic paradigm” indicate that “normality” can be represented only by a heterosexual family, considering that “the human species cannot survive otherwise”.
All the previous legislative initiatives of introducing civil partnerships in Romania were hit by the same walls, obstinately being promoted the idea that they are synonym to legalizing the relationships between individuals having the same sex.
Normally – and healthy! – we have to make a clear difference inside the society’s mentality, between the concept of “civil partnership” and the legal unions between persons of the same sex. But this involves educating people… in a country which squeaks, being eaten by the rust against which are fighting all the wheels of the systems brought in this deplorable situation by dozens of years of communism, and especially by 26 years of corruption and negligence. Thus, to speak in this moment, when we (still) have slavery cases, when our patients are (still) dying in the hospitals, eaten by warms, and when we have schools (still) having the toilet in the yard, to speak about same-sex marriages and civil unions is as in the saying “The village is burning and the granny is combing her hair.”
Yes, adopting the civil partnership in Romania will be a proof of maturity. Because increasingly fewer people believe in the institution of marriage; they do not want to feel constrained by documents, they want their relationships o cohabitation to be recognized, their rights in the matter of immigration of their life partners, rights in the matter of ownership, of alimony, of inheritance, the right to the common goods if one of the partners dies, medical benefits, life insurance, the possibility of adopting a child, the right of aggregate the income in order to get a loan, as well as the responsibilities involved by all these things. These are options available both for the gay and heterosexual couples.
Basically, civil partnership involves legalizing the legal status of some persons who have decided to live together in a different union than a marriage. Denmark was the first country who adopted this kind of contract in 1989, and since then, a lot of countries received requests from their citizens to legalize these contracts agreed by the both parties, based on the mutual respect and support, on affection and especially on equal rights.
The Supreme Pontiff itself suggested, in an interview for Corriere de la Serra, that he might support some of the types of civil unions. Pope Francisc restated the Catholic Church’s opposition against the gay marriage, but he wished to underline the practical side of such a partnership.
“The marriage is between a man and a woman. Laic states want to justify civil unions in order to regulate various situations of cohabitation, which start from the need to regulate economic issues between individuals, for instance, health assistance insurance. It’s about different life styles, I wouldn’t even know how to describe the various forms. We need to see the various cases in their diversity”, said Pope Francisc within the interview.
Therefore, a law for the civil partnership would have a good chance to help many persons living together without any legal form.
Either way, it’s clear that Romania is still a traditionalist country waiting from everlasting “for the Americans to come”, but in which the mentality is mainly a “red” one, a country not prepared yet at the mentality level to be on the same level with France, Belgium, Denmark, Island, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland or UK. How else could we explain to ourselves the vehement reaction related to the civil partnerships and the immediate unequivocal association between any trial of suggesting a law of the civil partnerships and “the gay marriage”?
However, Romanian people should be aware that civil partnerships represent a proof of civilization and, sooner or later, Romania will have to adapt to the West, of which it wishes so much to be part.
I conclude with recent reaction of the senator Haralambie Vochitoiu, former UNPR member, and a current member of PMP, which illustrates very well the stage in which we find ourselves: “I believe that it is a good thing in Romania to stipulate in very clear terms that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that those having other sexual orientations should be pleased that the society no longer persecutes them as in other times.” What else to say?