Students raise concerns about discrimination and homophobia in Romania
The National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR) calls for tolerance and raises concerns regarding the constitutional referendum to be held between 6-7 October 2018, which is aimed to define the marriage as the union between “a male and a female” in opposition to the current definition as marriage “founded on the free consent of the spouses”.
The idea behind this referendum is to prevent the introduction and recognition of same-sex marriages, which are not present now in the Romanian legislation. In the centennial year of the Great Union, when Romania celebrates a century of existence, students shouldn’t look to the future in such a divided society.
ANOSR fights for values such as inclusion, tolerance and acceptance of diversity, strongly opposing any form of discrimination or harassment to which students, including those in the LGBT community, could be subjected. Campaigning for a permanent inclusive education system, fair and qualitative, considering that further involvement is needed both from higher education institutions and from student organisations for the integration of students belonging to different minorities.
While one third of young Europeans are exposed to social exclusion, marginalized groups -including women, LGBT community, ethnic/national minorities or people with disabilities- often face discrimination in our society. In this regard, ANOSR considers that the referendum would not only stigmatize a social category but would also affect its inclusion among the academic community, and this is totally against the principles and values of the union. Moreover, while the results of the referendum will not produce any legal effect in Romania, ANOSR expresses concern about the increase of homophobia leading to intolerance and discrimination in society.
ANOSR points out the need for Romania to ensure legal protection for the victims of discrimination and to apply the international legal instruments to combat all types of discrimination and hate speech, considering the respect for human rights a priority for both our country and Europe. In a European Union (EU) more connected with young people than in previous years, ANOSR recalls the need to take into account the European Youth Objectives as representatives of the youth vision across Europe, including equality for all genders and the development of inclusive societies.