2016-11-14 17:06:00

HRC Submits Letter to Romanian Constitutional Court in Support of Marriage Equality

For several months, the Romanian Constitutional Court has been considering a landmark case for marriage equality. As Romania’s Constitutional Court considers this case, HRC’s Legal Director Sarah Warbelow submitted a letter to the court providing additional information about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to extend marriage equality to all citizens.

“In deciding to eliminate barriers to federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages and guarantee access to marriage nationwide in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court of the United States has shown the importance of evaluating liberty, equality, and the best interests of children,” Warbelow stated in the letter submitted by HRC. “Therefore we urge you to see this as a violation of human dignity as well.”

Adrian Coman, an LGBTQ activist from Romania, appealed to the country’s Constitutional Court to legally recognize his marriage to his American partner in July of this year, according to the Associated Press.  The court has met three times since then to consider the case, but has not yet come to a decision. Because Romania’s constitution refers to marriage in gender-neutral terms, there are currently no legal barriers to the court’s recognition of marriage equality. The next hearing is scheduled for November 29.

Leading up to the case’s latest hearing on October 27, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called for the tolerance and acceptance of minority groups. Despite the president’s support, there is opposition to the court case in this highly conservative country. For example, an initiative led by the Romanian Orthodox Church to restrict marriage exclusively to straight couples gained widespread traction earlier this year. The U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2015 noted that LGBTQ citizens in Romania continue to face societal persecution in the predominantly Orthodox country.