Annual Review 2013
Romania did not register any legal or political progress towards greater recognition of the human rights of LGBTI people. At the same time, the risk of discrimination or bias violence targeting LGBTI people remains high, as demonstrated by reported cases of violent attack and homophobic rhetoric in the country.
Bias motivated speech
- In October, the anti-discrimination coalition reacted negatively to the endorsement of George Becali as a candidate of the Social-Liberal Union for the parliamentary elections since he was known for his homophobic and racist statements. In spite of this, in December, Mr Becali was elected as a Member of Parliament and is now a member of the Legal Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.
Bias motivated violence
- In April, a Swedish female student was beaten up by a nightclub bouncer. The victim said that she had refused the perpetrator’s advances and that he attacked her after she disclosed the fact she is a lesbian. The victim had one broken leg as well as other injuries.
- In November, following their attendance at an academic debate about the history of homosexuality in Romania, seven youths were physically assaulted by a group of 10 people in Bucharest’s city centre. The assailants claimed they were opposing the “organisation of gay events”. ACCEPT, the main Romanian LGBT organisation, called on public authorities to investigate this homophobic attack and to prosecute the perpetrators. However, in spite of the clear motivation behind the attack, the police did not report the incident as a hate crime, opting instead to report it as an isolated act of violence.
- In February, the Court of Appeal of Bucharest made a reference for a preliminary ruling (Case C-81/12) to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The CJEU will have to establish whether the provisions of the Employment Framework Directive (Directive 2000/78/EC) apply when, in the absence of any recruitment procedure, the owner of a football club makes an employment related homophobic statement to the mass media. In this incident, the owner of the FC Steaua București said “Not even if I had to close Steaua down would I accept a homosexual on the team”. The case is pending.
Freedom of assembly
- In June, the Pride Festival took place in Bucharest without incident. Several European ambassadors, the Ambassador of the United States, Michael Cashman MEP, as well as Loredana Groza, a famous pop singer, took part in the Pride Parade. For the first time, marchers were protected by police forces, and did not meet any opposition or counter demonstrations.
- In April, the National Council for Combating Discrimination released its report on Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Discrimination in Romania. The main findings indicated that 17% of the respondents believe sexual minorities are severely discriminated against; 31% said they would not feel at all comfortable around a homosexual person; 54% stated they would never have a meal with a homosexual; 48% stated that they would be very disturbed if they found out that a family member was gay. While 40% would be equally disturbed if their children are taught by a gay teacher.
- According to Eurobarometer 2012, 33% of Romanians believe sexual orientation discrimination is widespread. This is slightly below the EU27 average (46%). 25% believe gender identity discrimination is widespread. This is slightly below the EU27 average (45%). Romanians scored 3.6 on a scale from 1 (‘totally uncomfortable’) to 10 (‘totally comfortable’) when asked how comfortable they would feel with an LGB individual in the highest elected political position in their country. This is significantly below the EU27 average (6.6). Romanians scored 3.4 on a similar scale when asked about a transgender/transsexual person in the highest elected political position in their country. This is significantly below the EU27 average (5.7).