Vladimir Putin is rightly seen as a homophobic leader, who has never been interested in minority rights. Even if his statements do not show this, Russia is a country that has no intention to recognize the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights.

The same is wanted in Romania, a EU member state. Even if other countries in Western Europe have recognized the rights of gays, authorities in Bucharest oppose this and want to amend the constitution and specify that the family consists of a man and a woman. The idea came to them after the Family Coalition, an NGO campaigning for a "traditional" family, made an online petition that has been signed by 2.7 million Romanian citizens. Obviously, the Coalition wants ban on gay rights, in addition to a number of other measures, such as banning abortions. Meanwhile, the EU is trying to come up with numerous solutions to protect minority rights and women's rights.

Family Coalition – an extreme right

The Coalition risks creating a dangerous precedent for Romania. Changing the Constitution is a very sensitive issue and a referendum on the issue is likely to inflame a conflict in the society, as it will create two strong enough camps.

The initiative of the Coalition to organize a referendum on the amendment of the Constitution was embraced by all the parties on the political arena, as it is the time of electoral campaign, and nobody can afford to lose 2.7 million votes. With the support of all parties, the Coalition seems to have obtained its first victory.

Only the things are not that simple. The Coalition comes with abortion restrictions, arguing that the birth rates are  low in Romania. This decision reminds us of Putin's Russia, which forces women to give birth, even if they do not want this.

Family Coalition, a friend to Dughin

Bogdan Stanciu, president of Provita Association from Bucharest, is one of the leaders of this NGO. His name is linked to Alexandr Dughin, a person close to Vladimir Putin. Dughin is considered the favorite ideologist of the Russian president. It became known that Stanciu is close to Dughin in 2014, when hackers broke the Russian's email address, inliniedreapta.ro informs.

Now, Stanciu is trying to force Romania adopt the same decisions that the Russians adopted. Under the guidance of Dughin, the Family Coalition risks isolating Romania from Western Europe, be it with the help of its people.

Bogdan Stanciu's name is also linked to the New Right, an extreme right wing NGOs. Stanciu is one of its founding members. Given its political orientation, it is more than obvious that it has an anti-EU and anti-Europe orientation, advocating Romanian nationalism, which should concern parties that rushed to shake hands with the Family Coalition.

What are the chances of the referendum?

The parties have determined that a referendum will be held in the spring of 2017 and Romanians will decide whether to ban gay rights. Another reason is invoked - protecting the traditional family, the family that is not based on values, but on hatred against minorities.

 More than 2.7 million Romanian citizens have signed the petition, initiated by the Family Coalition, but it is hard to believe that the parties that involved in this game will play it to the end. It is easy to guess that after the parliamentary elections, all the parties will step back and forget this promise. Political leaders do not really want a referendum on this issue, because it will arouse a negative reaction of the European Union and international organizations.

However, the Family Coalition remains a continuing threat and the support it received from parties raises many questions. In December 2016, Romania has a political class with an anti-EU orientation.  

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Barry Davies

24:67 12.01.2017

I do not see any link between this story and the eu, which is a corruption ridden democratically committee of unelected political failures in Brussels, not the national citizens. the idea that 28 disparate societies would agree on anything is risible and the reason the eu thankfully is falling apart. However the way a society considers it should behave is the responsibility of that particular society, and as long as there is not what is euphamistically called ethnic cleansing as part of that societies norms who is any unelected self important nonenity to say otherwise.

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