Romanian President Demands Tolerance As Court Decides On Same-Sex Marriage Case

President Klaus Iohannis spoke out ahead of next week's ruling.

Romania’s president called for “tolerance and acceptance” of the country’s LGBT community Wednesday as the nation’s highest court decides whether or not to legally recognize the same-sex marriage between a U.S. citizen and a Romanian man.

Romania's President Klaus Werner Iohannis gestures as he arrives for an European Union leaders summit on October 20, 2016 at the European Council, in Brussels. / AFP / THIERRY CHARLIER        (Photo credit should read THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Thierry Charlier, Getty Images

President Klaus Iohannis made a short statement ahead of next week’s court decision: “Tolerance and acceptance of others are vital. These are the values I believe in.”

The Constitutional Court is set to rule on the legality of the union between Claibourn Robert Hamilton, an American graphic designer, and Adrian Coman, a Romanian LGBT rights activist.


The two were married in Belgium in 2010 and have spent their married life in the United States. Plans to relocate to Romania for work prompted the couple to petition the court to have their marriage legally recognized by the country.

Romania does not currently have marriage equality, due to the powerful influence of the highly-conservative Romanian Orthodox Church.

Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area, Romania, July 31; 2011. -- An Orthodox couple get married in the Saint Michael's Church (Biserica Sfântul Mihail din Cluj) of Cluj Napoca.....Wikipedia: The Church of Saint Michael is a Gothic-style Roman Catholic church in Cluj-Napoca. It is the second largest church in Transylvania, Romania. The nave is 50 meters long and 24 meters wide, the apse is 20�10 m. The tower with its height of 76 meter (80 meter including the cross) is the highest one in Transylvania. The western portal is decorated with the three coats of arms of Sigismund as King of Hungary, as King of the Czech Kingdom and as Holy Roman Emperor. (Photo by Thierry Tronnel/Corbis via Getty Images)
Thierry Tronnel, Getty Images

Though the Church commands immense sway in Romanian society, President Iohannis hasn’t been shy to speak out against its discriminatory beliefs. Earlier this year, he said that “religious fanaticism does not help society. If being a Christian leans toward fanaticism…it sends a wrong sign.”

As of this writing, the Romanian constitution defines marriage as a union between spouses. Groups affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Church, however, are advocating for it to be amended to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples.

h/t: LGBTQ Nation

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