Leading S&D MEPs have welcomed the fact that the referendum to change the definition of marriage in the Romanian constitution failed to gain the necessary support to pass. The referendum was on changing the definition from the neutral ‘spouses’ to one between a man and woman only.

At least 30% of voters needed to take part in the ballot for the result to be valid, according to exit polls only about 19.5% of Romanians voted.

“This result shows that the vast majority of the Romanian population have no interest in seeing the country discriminate against same sex couples. The proposed change to the constitution would have been a clear backwards step for LGBTI rights and we are glad that this intolerant idea of family did not receive the support of Romanian citizens.  What should matter in a marriage is who you love, not what gender they are,” said S&D Group President Udo Bullmann.

“Our Group has always been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTI rights and we will speak out whenever we see these under threat. We hope the Romanian government will listen to voters and focus on the issues they care most about. We also encourage the government to come forward with the draft for civil partnership that is in preparation.

“We have long argued that all EU member states need to recognise civil partnerships and same-sex marriages, so citizens have their status and rights protected when they move to another EU country. This is a clear bar to free movement of people that the EU has a duty to tackle,” he added.