The Romanian Coalition for Family, an umbrella structure that gathers dozens of organisations that promote family values, including FAFCE’s Member Association of Catholic Families Vladimir Ghika, has presented a proposal for an amendment of the Constitution aimed at clarifying the definition of the family and parental rights to the Romanian Senate. The family would be based on “the marriage of one man and one woman” rather than “a marriage between spouses”. Moreover, the new phrasing is aimed at enhancing the parental right to raise and educate children according to the parents’ own values and beliefs.

The new wording proposed for article 48, par. 1 in the current Constitution reads: “A family is established through the free-willed marriage between one man and one woman, and is based upon their equality and their right and their duty to provide for the rearing, the education and the training of their children”.

The constitutional proposal comes with some 3 million supporting signatures gathered nationwide.

The supporting signatures which represent six times more than the legal minimum, have been validated by the city halls of the signatories’ residences. It is the first time in the history of Romania that such a large number of citizens support an initiative for a constitutional amendment ballot.

The Initiative Committee has 16 members and includes artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, healthcare professionals and members of the main churches in Romania: Eastern Orthodox, Roman-Catholics, Eastern-Catholics, Baptists and Pentecostals.

The following steps are:

The Constitutional Court has to sanction the civic action within 60 days.

The Parliament will discuss the proposal in both Chambers; the law may pass upon the votes of 2/3 of the Members of Parliament.

A national ballot is necessary to change the Constitution. The Initiative Committee would like it to take place at the same time as the parliamentary elections scheduled for this autumn.

The signatures have been gathered through the efforts of more than 80,000 volunteers belonging to all the Christian churches, from the villages to the cities, from all professions and social categories.

The mission of the Coalition for Family is long aimed. Alongside this constitutional project, there is a set of policies aimed to strengthen the family, improve child-birth and reduce the state-reliance of the families. All these propositions, “50 famiy policy proposals for Romania”, are to be negotiated with the political parties and the candidates who will run for the coming elections in order to have them implemented in the next legislature.

The Coalition for Family has been active for some years within the debates of the Romanian society and also took an active part in the parliamentary discussion on family.

A similar initiative has been launched within the European Union, named “Mum, Dad & Kids”, aimed to protect the family in its natural understanding: the spouses (one man and one woman) and their children. Five family/marriage-related referenda took place during the last five years in Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ireland, and Armenia.

Cornel Barbut

Association of Catholic Families “Vladimir Ghika”