Romania Moves to End Discrimination Against Gays
Reuters, June 22, 2001
BUCHAREST Romanias government said on Friday
it had issued a decree to help end discrimination against gays by advocating
the repeal of a law that penalises gays more harshly for sex in public places.
A government statement said the cabinet had "abrogated article 200
that incriminates sexual relations between persons of the same sex in public
Parliament must still approve the elimination of the article, which
punishes gay sex in public by up to five years in jail. If the decree is
approved, homosexual sex in public places would incur the same punishment as
heterosexual sex in public up to two years in prison.
The decree follows repeated suggestions by the Council of Europe on
improving human rights.
"The emergency decree is in line with European Union integration
criteria and the 1997 resolution of the Council of Europe," the
government statement said.
The decision follows a year of calls by gay and lesbian activist groups
demanding that the government eliminate any mention of homosexuality in the
Adrian Coman, executive manager of Romanias sole gay rights group,
Accept, welcomed the government move and expressed the hope that parliament
would endorse the decision.
Figures from the Justice Ministry show that 117 Romanians aree now in jail
on charges related to the homosexual portion of the code.
Homosexuality was illegal in Romania from 1968 to 1996 when it was
legalised by parliament .
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