Romania, Europe

Romania, like a number of other Eastern European countries, remains socially conservative with regard to the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens. Despite this, the country has made significant progress in LGBT rights legislation since 2000. In the past decade, it has fully decriminalized homosexuality, introduced and enforced wide-ranging anti-discrimination laws, equalised the age of consent and introduced laws against homophobic hate crimes. Furthermore, LGBT communities have become more visible in recent years, as a result of events such as Bucharest's annual GayFest pride parade and Cluj-Napoca's Gay Film Nights festival. In 2006, Romania was named by Human Rights Watch as one of five countries in the world that had made "exemplary progress in combating rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity." Nevertheless, homophobia runs high. A new poll conducted in the new EU nation of Romania has found high levels of prejudice against homosexuals and people living with HIV.


News & Reports:


Romania breaching LGBTQ+ couples’ human rights, European court rules

Romania is breaching the human rights of same-sex couples by refusing to legally recognise their relationships, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled. Currently, Romania doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage or civil partnerships. On Tuesday (23 May), the ECHR ruled that as a result, Romania’s government is in breach of article eight of the… Read more »

First Transgender Woman to Run for Office in Romanian Elections

Thirty-year-old Roma sex worker Antonella Lerca will be the first-ever transgender person to run for public office in Romania when she competes in September’s local elections. Antonella Lerca, a transgender woman of Roma origin who is a sex worker, launched her campaign on Monday to run as an independent candidate for Bucharest’s District 2 in… Read more »

Romanian senators just slammed down two civil partnership bills

It’s the latest defeat in the 11 year-long battle to legalize civil partnerships The Romanian Senate rejected by majority two civil partnership bills yesterday (18 March). Both bills proposed by pro-LGBTI parties were defeated in the Senate, Romania Insider reported. This is the latest defeat in an 11 year battle to legalize civil partnerships in… Read more »

Romania’s anti-gay marriage vote voided over low turnout

Just 20% of registered voters cast their ballot in referendum to define marriage as explicitly between a man and woman Low turnout has voided a referendum in Romania on restricting the definition of marriage to exclude same-sex unions, election officials have said. Just 20% of registered voters had cast their ballot by the time polls… Read more »

Romania marriage referendum: ‘Is silence the best defence against homophobia?’

Was silence really the best tactic going into the Romania referendum this weekend? Romania votes on same-sex marriage this weekend. The demand for this referendum did not come from the LGBTI-movement, but from a few religious groups. They want to underline in the Romanian constitution that a marriage is between a man and a woman.… Read more »

Romania’s top court rules in favor of LGBTI rights before referendum

People will vote on 6 October about how to define a family Ahead of the referendum taking place next weekend, the top court of Romania ruled in favor of equality for LGBTI couples. The Constitutional Court determined same-sex couples should have the same rights, both in private and to a family, as any heterosexual couple.… Read more »

Romania’s top court says referendum can go ahead to block marriage equality

Conservatives and religious groups in the country want a referendum to ensure the country’s constitution only recognizes opposite-sex families Romania’s top court says a referendum can go ahead to effectively block marriage equality coming to the country. Conservatives and religious groups want the country’s constitution changed. They want it to state Romania only recognizes marriage… Read more »

Romanian rights groups challenge ‘homophobic’ marriage referendum

LGBTI rights groups in Romania make a legal case to block a referendum which could make it harder to allow for same-sex marriage Rights groups in Romania have made a legal move to block an upcoming referendum on the definition of marriage. The referendum is due to take place in October. The groups have said… Read more »

The Latest: Romania gay pride parade builds on court ruling

The Latest on LGBT pride events in Europe (all times local): 4:45 P.M. People in Romania’s capital are gearing up for a gay pride parade that will feature calls for same-sex couples to receive more rights and acceptance. Before the parade taking place in Bucharest on Saturday, choreographer Emil Rengle wanted fellow Romanians who oppose… Read more »

Romania Gay Marriage Case Could Have Outsize Impact in Europe

Bucharest, Romania — The European Union’s highest court began examining a case on Tuesday over a Romanian man’s attempts to get legal residency for his American husband, a closely watched hearing that will have major implications for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe. The case, legal experts say, could determine whether same-sex partners… Read more »

1,000 in Romanian gay pride march amid moves to limit rights

AP – Some 1,000 people joined a gay pride march in the Romanian capital of Bucharest Saturday, demanding greater rights amid government moves they say will curtail their rights. Some 30 ambassadors expressed support for the march and for protecting the rights of the LGBT community, and U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm was among those… Read more »

A More Queer Bucharest

Bucharest, Romania. An organization called “The Coalition for Family” wants to redefine marriage in Romania’s constitution as the “union between a man and a woman.” Right now, gay marriage is prohibited by law in Romania, but excluding it from the constitutional definition would make this much more permanent and harder to change. In this context,… Read more »

A More Queer Bucharest

Bucharest, Romania – An organization called “The Coalition for Family” wants to redefine marriage in Romania’s constitution as the “union between a man and a woman.” Right now, gay marriage is prohibited by law in Romania, but excluding it from the constitutional definition would make this much more permanent and harder to change. In this context,… Read more »

Romanian Court Says Referendum To Ban Gay Marriage Is Constitutional

Romania’s top court on Wednesday ruled unanimously that a proposed referendum that would define marriage as a heterosexual union in the constitution is valid. While gay and lesbian couples are not permitted to marry in the socially conservative nation, its constitution says family starts “on the basis of freely consenting marriage between spouses.” Roughly 3… Read more »

Romanian Orthodox Church: marriage only between man, woman

Bucharest, Romania — The Romanian Orthodox Church says it supports an initiative to change Romania’s constitution to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. The statement comes amid concerns from some that the conservative East European nation will align with other EU nations and permit gay marriage. Romania currently does not recognize… Read more »

$210,871 Federal Study Uses Smartphones to Stop Spread of HIV among Gay Men – in Romania

( – The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $210,871 grant to Hunter College “to employ mobile health (mHealth) technologies to reduce the spread of HIV among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Central Eastern European country of Romania.” The study will be the first of its… Read more »

The Life of a Gay Man in Romania

We both love Romania. That’s no big secret. Romania is no fan of the LGBT community, however. I had a taste of what it is like to be a gay man there when we lived in Brasov in 2013. While there have been positive changes—mostly because of the fall of Communism and the necessary changes… Read more »

Romania: Same-sex partnerships bill unanimously rejected by parliament committee

A bill which would have legalised same-sex civil partnerships has been unanimously rejected by a parliamentary committee in Romania. According to, the bill would have allowed both same and opposite-sex couples to register their partnerships, allowing them to “enjoy rights like the right to inheritance, the right to become a co-beneficiary on the other’s… Read more »

Romanian gay couple marry on TV and win reality show

Romania had its first televised same-sex marriage last week when a gay couple won a popular wedding themed reality TV show Romanians watched their first televised same-sex marriage last week when gay couple Daniel and Michael won that country’s version of UK reality show Four Weddings. Both theatrical directors, the couple chose an ‘A Midsummer… Read more »

Romania anti-gay assault on seven people

Seven young persons have been assaulted in Bucharest, the capital of Romania for attending an LGBT event. Two of them needed urgent medical care Romanian LGBT rights Accept association reported that seven young women and men have been physically assaulted by a group of ten people wearing hoods, in downtown Bucharest, after attending an academic… Read more »

Gay Romania News & Reports 2009-11

1 Medical Care in Romania Comes at an Extra Cost 3/09 (background story) 2 Sub-Committee Bans Homosexual Couples From Adopting Kids 4/09 3 Anti-gay march draws some scores of people 5/09 4 Romanian version of the Yogyakarta Principles launched 5/09 5 Discriminatory Partnership and Adoption Provisions in New Civil Code 7/09 6 Bucharest crowd boo… Read more »

Gay Romania News & Reports 1999-2008

0 Background story: 1996–Romania criminalizes homosexual behavior 8/99 1 Romanian MPs vote to decriminalise homosexuality 6/00 2 Romanians Against Gays, Jews, Gypsies 11/00 3 It’s Still No Breeze for Gays, Even Diplomatic Ones 10/01 4 Romania lifts gay ban; church objects 12/01 5 Sexual Orientation Discrimination Eliminated from the Criminal Law 2/02 6 ‘Accept’ Country… Read more »

Relentless Homophobia Rages in the Balkans

“Be IN-tolerant! Be normal!”, appeals a poster that recently flooded the streets of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. As the first gay pride parade in Bulgaria is about to take place, amid strong opposition by nationalistic organisations and a large part of society, the high levels of persistent homophobia in the country and the Balkans as… Read more »