Over 1,000 Romanians took to the streets of Bucharest over the weekend to march in the country’s gay pride parade—now in its 13th year, Associated Press reports.
Amidst the celebrations, the LGBT+ community used the march as an opportunity to protest the government’s plan to amend a national law that would set back marriage equality in the country.
Romanian legislators are hoping to change the wording of the constitution so that it specifically states that marriage is between a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’.
The constitution currently refers to marriage being between ‘spouses' although gay marriage is not yet legal.
Vlad Viski, chairman of the gay rights’ group MosaiQ, told AP that Romania must legalise civil partnerships in Romania “because gay couples are a reality”.
“They must be respected by the state, as they pay their taxes and therefore they must be treated as equal citizens,” he said.
The event went ahead despite rain and marchers were supported by over 30 ambassadors, including US Ambassador Hans G. Klemm.
The procession stopped and held a minute of silence outside the Russian Embassy in solidarity with gay men in Chechnya who have been detained and tortured by authorities.
Singer Florin Chechisan, 29, told the AP that attitudes had changed in Romania in recent years, “but too little.”
Chechisan said he considered himself fortunate because “my friends and family accept me.”
NewNowNext reports that just hours before the parade took place, a counter-protest was held by Romanians opposed to same-sex marriage.
Members of political party Noua Dreapta (The New Right) held placards celebrating Donald Trump and shouted, “Romania doesn’t tolerate the homosexuals.”