Moldovan Authorities Clarify Ambiguity of Article 90'1

Submitted by GENDERDOC-M Information Centre

GENDERDOC-M Information Centre welcomes the explanations and measures to be taken by Moldovan authorities following the adoption of the ambiguous Law Nr.117 on Completing the Contravention Code with Article 901 “Public activities with negative impact on minors”, which entered in force on 12 July 2013. Following the appeal from the group of civil society organisations, coalitions and international structures to the Government to repeal the part of Article 901 regarding “propagation of […] any other relations than those related to marriage or family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code”, Moldova’s Government has provided a clear response to what extent the Article may be applied and what measures will be taken to eradicate its ambiguity.

Prior to its adoption, the Government had given a negative opinion on the respective draft amendment because of the last part of the paragraph 2 referring to the “the other relations…” The reason was that the amendment doesn’t comply with the criteria to be concise, unambiguous and clear as it is required by current Moldovan legislation on adoption of legislative acts. In its response, Government informs the stakeholders that “after the adoption of the Law, the Ombudsman reiterated the concern about the fact that the norms of legislative technique were not respected”.

GENDERDOC-M welcomes the Ombudsman’s explanatory report from 30 July 2013 signaling to the Parliament the need to initiate the procedure of revision and amendment of the above mentioned law, especially the provision regarding “some other relations”.

GENDERDOC-M also welcomes the fact that the Ombudsman created an ad-hoc Working Group with the participation of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Ministry of Justice. The aim of this Group was to draft a recommendation on the implementation of Article 90¹ of the amended Contravention Code, in line with the Constitution and other related laws. On 26 July 2013, the Ministry of Interior Affairs issued the Recommendation on Correct and Uniform Application of Article 901 “Public activities with negative impact on minors” of the Contravention Code to all administrative authorities and institutions under the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

The Recommendation states that Article 901 shall be applied strictly in compliance with the Law Nr. 30 from 7 March 2013 on Protection of Minors from Negative Impact of Information[1], which does not refer to same-sex relations or any other issues regarding LGBT people at all.

“We are content to see that the Government takes seriously the issue of ambiguity of certain legislation adopted in the Republic of Moldova and is eager to take measures to correct these legislative shortcomings, if they are not made out of ill will, by other branches of power. We are sure that the immediate, yet temporary, measures taken by the Government, Ombudsman Office and the National Council on Preventing and Fighting against Discrimination and Ensuring Equality will ensure that the freedom of expression with regard to LGBT issues is respected. However, we would also like to see concrete guarantees from all three branches of power that nothing like this legislative failure will ever repeat in the future. Moreover, that more pro-active measures ensuring equality of LGBT people will be introduced”, stated the GENDERDOC-M Executive Director Anastasia Danilova.

[1]Law Nr.30 from 7 March 2013 on Protection of Minors from Negative Impact of Information (in Romanian and Russian)

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