Recently there was a referendum in Romania to change the constitution to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. The vote failed on Sunday due to not enough people taking part in the vote after a campaign that was led by a gay community encouraged the Romanian public to not vote. According to the data from the national election bureau, 20.4 percent of the population took part in the vote when the polls finally closed at 6pm GMT. The 20.4 percent is lower than the 30 percent that is required to deem the decision definite.
The vote to ban same-sex marriage was also used as a popularity test for the Social Democrat Party who led the vote and has also pushed to weaken anti-corruption legislation earlier. The two day referendum cost the country $40 million was aimed to define the term of marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
Romania is religiously conservative where they decriminalized homosexuality in 2001 which was tens of years after their neighboring countries had. With the past of religion still present in the country, the Civil society group Coalition for family was able to accumulate over 3 million signatures to trigger then events that led up to the vote to prevent same-sex couples from marrying.
Multiple human rights groups stated that if the referendum was successful in banning gay marriage, it would encourage the nation to continue to oppress minority groups leading them to a populist authoritarian country.