Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, after the party’s National Standing Bureau (BPN) meeting, that the bill amending the Constitution’s definition of the family, adopted by the Lower House almost a year ago, will also pass the Senate under an urgent procedure and the referendum will be held after the law is promulgated. Dragnea claimed that, at the same time, a debate on the advisability of regulating civil partnership in Romania will be initiated.
“We should adopt it under an urgent procedure, after which we should send it to promulgation. After the President promulgates it, after it is published in the Official Journal, we will immediately decide to continue the procedure in the Senate, namely the actual vote on amending the Constitution and establishing the date of the referendum,” Dragnea stated.
He also claims that, at the same time, a debate on the advisability of regulating civil partnership in Romania will also be initiated.
“At the same time, we can’t avoid analysing also the situation of a minority in Romania, namely seriously discussing the advisability of legislating a type of civil partnership, and I’ve asked my colleagues, and I’ve asked Mr Victor Negrescu to discuss with the NGOs in this field, in order to move – not necessarily in parallel – toward a legislative form that would regulate this situation too,” Liviu Dragnea stated.
Asked whether he comes up with this initiative because he fears the protests of the LGBTI community, the PSD leader answered: “My reason is not the fear of potential protests, I haven’t even heard that there is a plan for this. I’ve explained the reason in a fairly clear and simple way. We’re talking about a minority that we cannot feign not seeing or we cannot say it doesn’t exist. As any minority in a society, it must be treated appropriately so we must try to at least find a way through which at least part of their demands should be resolved. If we succeed.”
He added that a debate is being launched on this topic.
Asked whether the referendum on re-defining the family in the Constitution could be organised in May, Liviu Dragnea said: “I don’t want to put forward any deadline until we see the law published in the Official Journal, because we have the promulgation from the President and we’re waiting.”
The Lower House adopted, on 9 May 2017, with 232 votes in favour, 22 against and 13 abstentions, a citizens’ bill to have the Constitution amended on the topic of the definition of the family. According to the proposed amendment, Article 48, paragraph 1, of the Constitution should read as follows: “The family is founded on the freely consented marriage between a man and a woman, their full equality, as well as the right and duty of the parents to ensure the upbringing, education and instruction of their children.”
The bill was sent to the Senate for debate and vote.
The Coalition for Family collected 3 million signatures that it lodged with the Senate alongside a proposed amendment to the Constitution in what concerns its definition of the family, a proposal demanding the modification of Article 48, paragraph 1, on the definition of the family. In its current form, the article stipulates that “the family is founded on the freely consented marriage of the spouses,” however the signatories want the definition changed so as to block any possibility to pass a same-sex marriage law. Thus, the bill stipulates that “the family is based on the freely consented marriage between a man and a woman.”
According to Article 151 of the Constitution, the bill or proposed amendment must be adopted by the House and Senate, with a majority of at least two thirds of the members of each Chamber. If an agreement is not reached through the mediation procedure, the House and Senate will decide, in a joint meeting, with the vote of at least three fourths of the number of MPs. The amendment is final after it is approved via referendum held within 30 days from the date the bill or proposed amendment is adopted.
Senate Speaker Tariceanu: We are forced to organize referendum on family redefinition; Romania is not to become less liberal
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu on Monday stated that a referendum should be organized on the redefinition of family in the Constitution and told those who “are worried” that Romania might become less liberal that this won’t happen.
“My belief is that we cannot neglect three million signatures of Romanian citizens on this topic. We are basically forced to organize a referendum and, of course, those who are worried that Romania might become less liberal, I will tell them that it won’t. We are considering, at the same time, to legally frame the civil partnership as better as possible, and in such a way that we can give some comfort to those belonging to other types of minorities, too,” Tariceanu told Parliament.