An attempt to insert a ban on same-sex marriage into Romania’s constitution has failed following very low turnout, which invalidated this weekend’s referendum on the issue. With just 21.1 per cent participation, turnout was well below the threshold of 30 per cent needed to make the decision legally binding.
Among those who did cast ballots, support for the ban was overwhelming at 93.4 per cent. However the strategy of opponents, including the Save Romania Union (USR) party and LGBT rights groups, was to call for a boycott of the referendum, an approach which appears to have succeeded.
The invalid result is a setback for the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) which had promoted the referendum alongside conservative civil society groups and the Orthodox Church. However it will make little difference in practice since same-sex marriages or civil partnerships are not permitted by law in Romania.
ROMANIA: REFERENDUM 6-7 October 2018
Proposal to add ban on same-sex marriage to constitution
YES 3,531,732 (91.6 per cent)
NO 249,412 (6.5 per cent)
‘Nul’ ballots 76,111 (2.0 per cent)
Eligible voters 18,279,011
Turnout: 21.1 per cent
Source: Romanian Central Election Bureau.