Marriage referendum divides Romania

Source: Politico

By

BISTRIŢA, Romania — In this small northern Transylvanian town, volunteers were up early the other day putting up dozens of posters that exhort in large letters: “Defend Romania’s children.”

The activists are supporters of a referendum this weekend that seeks to amend Romania’s constitution to restrict the definition of family to a marriage between a man and a woman.

Opponents of the Social Democratic (PSD) government see the vote as a ploy to shore up its shrinking support and shift attention away from criticism at home and abroad of its record on the rule of law and corruption.

For some critics, the referendum also fuels fears that Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, is embracing the idea of “illiberal democracy” championed by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and also followed by the Polish government.

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