Romania Bans Discrimination
September 6, 2000
SUMMARY: Who would have thought one of Europes clearest
anti-discrimination laws would have come out of the country that fought so hard against
sodomy law reform?
Romania has a new law against discrimination which includes sexual orientation among
its protected categories, according to the Associated Press; the national constitution has
no such protections. The law passed on August 31 has some real teeth, with provisions both
for hefty fines (0.5 - 20 million lei, equivalent to US$20 - $870 compared to an average
monthly income of less than US$100) and for lawsuits by both individuals and groups who
feel theyve experienced discrimination.
Its an astonishing advance for Romania to move to protect the civil rights of
gays and lesbians, after years of struggling with religious and cultural resistance
against the decriminalization of homosexual acts required to meet the human rights
standards of the Council of Europe. Adrian Coman, spokesperson for the national gay and
lesbian group ACCEPT, not only said the group fully supports the law, but praised it as
"one of the most clear anti-discrimination laws in Europe."
The law will go into effect thirty days after its official publication. The Romanian
government had already established a hotline for complaints of discrimination.
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