Romanian Heterosexual Marriage Referendum Voided by Low Turnout

Ahead of the vote, critics warned a change in the constitution would make it nearly impossible for gays and lesbians to win the right to marry in future

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Romanian election officials say more than 90 percent of those who took part in a national referendum supported defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the vote was invalidated as too few people cast ballots.

The Central Electoral Commission said Monday near-final results showed 91.61 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment to change the definition of marriage – it currently says it’s a union between “spouses.”

But the ballot failed to attract the minimum 30 percent turnout for the result to stand.

Election officials said just 20.41 percent of eligible voters participated in the weekend referendum. Gay rights group Accept said the result showed citizens “want a Romania based upon democratic values.”