The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided by five votes to two against that Romania violates the rights of same-sex persons, as it does not recognize their partnerships, which means a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights.
Romania violates the rights of same-sex persons by not recognizing and not allowing the registration of civil partnerships. This violates the eighth article of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights, which states that signatory countries must respect the right to private and family life, the court announced.
Complaints against Romania were filed with the court in 2019 and 2020 by 21 same-sex couples. They claimed that they had not been granted certain rights that according to Romanian law belong to married couples. In a Romanian NGO for rights LGBTQ Accept called the verdict historic and called on Romania to recognize and protect same-sex families.
The Romanian government took the opposite view, claiming that the majority of Romanians disapprove of same-sex partnerships. According to the court, this cannot be more important than the interest of the petitioners to have their partnerships recognized and protected.
In its judgment, the ECtHR also emphasized that “recognition of same-sex unions would not threaten the institution of marriage, as heterosexual couples can still marry”.
The Romanian Orthodox Church, which has great influence in the country, has repeatedly spoken out against civil partnerships and in 2018 supported a referendum that would have included a ban on same-sex marriage in the constitution.
Romania legalized same-sex relationships in 2001, but same-sex couples still cannot enter into marriage or civil partnerships in the country. In recent years, attempts have been made in the country to further limit the rights of homosexuals, including by canceling university and other study programs that deal with gender identities.