|Author (Person)||Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.26, 28.6.01, p3|
GAY groups and MEPs have warned that homophobic laws suspended by the Romanian government last week could still find their way back onto the statute books.
The changes, announced after pressure from the EU, must still be cleared by the country's national parliament, which has refused to do so in the past.Dutch Liberal MEP Lousewies van der Laan admits she is sceptical about any permanent reform going ahead. Although the government was "making all the right noises", she said she was "not sure their hearts are really in it".She was part of a cross-party group of MEPs who recently wrote to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, warning him that
Romania would not be welcome in the EU until its infamous anti-gay 'article 200' was abolished.
This article, suspended last week under emergency ordinance, outlaws sex with someone of the same gender in a public place or in a manner which causes a public scandal.
Human rights groups said it was often used to victimise gays and lesbians. The article will be suspended for a year, during which time it must be ratified by both chambers of the Romanian parliament. If it is not, the original laws come back into force.
Romanian gay groups have welcomed the government's move but say they are not convinced Nastase is committed. "The repeal of article 200 was not made because people or the political spectrum believes this is necessary for a democratic society but strictly because it is a requirement for Romanian accession to the EU," said Adrian Coman, executive director of Romanian gay group Accept.
Coman also complains that his group has so far been refused access to the text of the ordinance and therefore cannot be sure that all discriminatory regulations are removed. "We cannot praise a text that we haven't seen," he said.
Gay groups and MEPs have warned that homophobic laws suspended by the Romanian government could still find their way back onto the statute books.
|Countries / Regions||Romania|