The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
University lecturer Emanuel Tundrea explains why he will vote ‘yes’ this weekend in the referendum to protect marriage as “a union between a man and a woman”.
Romanians will vote on October 6 and 7 whether they want to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
The referendum comes after the success of a citizen’s initiative signed by 3 million people which called to protect the traditional definition of marriage, and therefore stop the legalisation of same-sex unions in the future.
The initiative was defined as an “unprecedented exercise of democracy”, since 500,000 signatures are enough to vote a constitutional change, but the support this time was six times higher.
If the binding referendum passes, article 48 of the Constitution will be automatically amended as follows: “The family is founded on the freely consented marriage between a man and a woman, their full equality, as well as the right and duty of the parents to ensure the upbringing, education and instruction of their children”.
5 MILLION VOTES NEEDED
To be valid, the participation in the referendum needs to be of least 30% of the electorate (approximately five million people).
The promoters of the referendum, the Coalition for Family, ask to “strengthen the family as the building block of the society”. The movement also called to “defend children” from “the ideological lie of the sexual revolution, the lie of those who want to re-educate all of us, parents and children”.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Romania in 2001.
LGBT GROUPS PROMOTE “NO” VOTE
Some actors in the European Union have been very critical with the celebration of the Romanian referendum.
In June, The European Court of Justice ruled that same-sex married couples have the same rights under EU freedom of residence legislation as heterosexual married couples, even when same-sex marriage is not allowed in the country.
Following this line of argumentation, the LGBT lobby ILGA-Europe (largely funded by public institutions such as the EU) said “the definition of ‘family’ put forward by the supporters of this referendum only captures a very limited fraction of what family means to people in 2018”. The group stated that the vision of marriage limited to one man and one woman “is very out-of-step with reality and with the diversity of families being recognised by international human rights bodies and European courts”.
WHY VOTE YES
Emmanuel Tundrea, a lecturer of the Emanuel University in Tundrea, is one of the many voices who have called to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum this weekend. In two video messages (which had 40,000 visits combined), Tundrea addresses the efforts of other European countries as well as international LGBT organisations in trying to change the views of Romanians.
“How could homosexuality become such a desirable and passionately promoted issue in the last few years, and how could marriage become so disregarded?”, he asks.
“The sexual revolution, without doubt, uses hard power. Just dare to publicly affirm something pro-family or with pro Christian values and you will see the violent reactions you get. But the aggressiveness of their language has distracted us from what probably is the true secret of their success in Europe and USA: soft power”, Tundrea says.
‘RIGHTS OF ADULTS AFFECT CHILDREN’
“What is to be done when the innocence and the future of our children are the price paid for the freedoms and rights of adults? Is this right?”, he asks. Tundrea cites the example of climate change to show that individual rights can dangerously affect the common wellbeing of others.
“SHOW THE BEAUTY OF MARRIAGE”
Tundrea also appeals to the Christian view of sexuality in the Bible. “Christian history, but equally, secular history, show us that a civilization that adopts homosexuality is self-condemning to destruction”.
Therefore, he encourages Christians to “show the world the beauty of marriage according to the will of God, and I am convinced that sincere people who are now led by the wave of false promises of the sexual revolution will surrender to the truth”.
PARLIAMENT AND SENATE VOTED ‘YES’
National political representatives have shown a clear support for the referendum in the last months.
Romania’s Senate voted 107-13 with seven abstentions on September 11, to approve a law that would pave the way to change the Constitution, which currently states that marriage is a union between “spouses”.
Earlier, the Parliament passed the Bill in May 2017, with 232 votes in favor, 22 against and 13 abstentions.