Holding a Pride Parade in Bucharest, Romania takes guts and determination. Romania became part of the European Union (EU) in 2007. This means that all member countries of the EU must abide by the 1997 Treat of Amsterdam (Article 19) which empowers the EU to “take appropriate action to combat discrimation based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”
Romania has been steadily making progress with homosexuality being legal since 1996. In 2000 anti-discrimination laws were put into law. In 2006, one year before its entry into the EU, Romania added added laws to protect homosexuals from hate crimes and hate speech directed towards their sexual orientation.
Seven years later on February 20th, 2013 a screening of the film, The Kids are All Right” was biolently intrrupted in the capital, Bucharest. Around fifty right wing militants burst into the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and stopped the screening. The movie was part of the LGBT History Month at the museum. Chanting erupted which includeed “death to homosexuals” and religious chants were sang in between shouts of ‘beasts and scum and “we don’t want you in Romania.” Many Nazi salutes were given.
Four months later in June, 2013 over 400 people took to the streets of Bucharest for a Gay Pride parade, but a recent amendment to the constitution banning same-sex marriage overshadowed the event. This amendment was put forth mainly from the dominant Orthodosx Church. Amnesty International express concern over this move, stressing that every person has the right to set up a family, “without discrimination as to sexual oriention or gender identity.”
We offer praise to our gay brothers and sisters in Romania for their brave efforts and the fight for justice for all.