Romanian Human Rights group Friday criticized Romania’s so-called LGBT+ “propaganda” bill and called on lawmakers to stop it in its tracks. The bill, which has been approved by the Senate and is to now be decided by Romania’s lower house, prohibits the use of materials in schools that “promote” being LGBT+.
The bill has been introduced as a measure to prevent “child abuse” by the junior ruling coalition ethnic Hungarian party (UDMR) and the nationalist Alliance for Uniting Romanians (AUR), both of which have advocated for traditional family values. The proposed legislation is analogous to legislation already in effect in Russia and Hungary. Proponents have contended that “in the societies of Western Europe, we are witnessing today an assault on new ideologies, such as gender theory, which endanger traditional values, based on Christianity, and the very core of society, the Christian family.”
LGBTQ Rights group ACCEPT condemned the bill:
Budapest’s education system must not be enforced in Bucharest. Romania must avoid the illiberal drift promoted by Hungary through such measures which were received harshly by the European Union. Adopting explicitly homophobic and transphobic legislation by censoring information about sexual orientation and gender identity is a shame on Romania. The lower house must vote to stop this incitement to discrimination.
Marc Angel, Member of European Parliament and LGBTI Intergroup Co-Chair, also shared his concern on the bill:
We have been around for long enough to know that hatred spreads fast and through borders. This bill bears uncanny resemblance to Russia’s policy of encouraging anti-LGBTI movements. Despite a failed referendum in 2018, the Romanian right-wing does not cease its efforts to campaign against what it disingenuously calls LGBTIQ ideology and propaganda. Conflating paedophilia, homosexuality and gender diversity is despicable, but if that is not enough, let us realise which government the bill draws inspiration from. We call on our fellow legislators to consider seriously the human rights implications of this bill and to reject it at the first opportunity.
Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001, but the Anti-LGBT+ perspective in the society is widespread. If the bill is passed by the lower house, it would legitimize discrimination against the LGBT+ community, comparable to injustices observed in Hungary and Russia.