Hundreds of Romanians rally in support of civil partnerships

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Several hundred people rallied in Romania on Saturday to urge that civil partnerships be legally recognized so that unmarried cohabitants can enjoy expanded rights.

Supporters of the measure, many from the LBGT community, waved rainbow and European Union flags along with banners saying: “We pay taxes, we want rights.”

“It’s not fair that we aren’t recognized,” said one supporter, Mihaela Pantilie.

Vasile Murivale Muresan, 60, said he was glad to see young people who “don’t feel marginalized as I did when I was young.” He said he supported “civil partnerships for everyone.”

Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001 and acceptance of same-sex couples has increased, especially in cities.

However, some oppose same-sex marriage. A referendum is expected in the coming months on whether the constitution should be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The constitution says marriage is a union between spouses.

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