Romania patriarch urges clergy to promote traditional family

September 24, 2018 GMT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The leader of Romania’s influential Orthodox Church has urged clergy to promote the traditional family ahead of a vote on whether to change the constitution to specify that marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman.

Patriarch Daniel called on clergy and believers to promote the “blessed” family “formed of a man and woman” in a sermon posted on the church website Monday.

Romania holds a referendum on October 6-7 after three million Romanians signed a petition demanding a constitutional amendment redefining marriage, which is currently defined as a union between “spouses.”

Groups advocating for equality for same-sex couples have condemned the referendum, which needs a turnout of 30 percent to be valid.

Romania doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage or offer legal protection to same-sex couples.