Last edited: February 14, 2005

Romania Bans Discrimination

PlanetOut, September 6, 2000

SUMMARY: Who would have thought one of Europe’s 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 they’ve experienced discrimination.

It’s 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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