The day Romania stood united against intolerance

A few months ago I was writing this review and I guess a lot didn’t understand why I took the game (Far Cry 5) so personal. The fact was (and still is) that Romania, my country, is going through a tough process of overzealous religious polarisation. This process started this last weekend, with the Referendum that aimed to change the definition of marriage in the Constitution, in the sense that “marriage can be obtained only through the unification of a man and a woman”. 

The dire days before the Referendum


It all started in 2015 when some kind of organisation, that hardly can be fit inside a judicial frame, managed to raise (or so they claimed) 3 million votes in order to start this Constitutional modification. This organisation is called (in free translation) “The Coalition for the Family“. Pretty weird name if you think about the fact that we live in 20 fucking 18 and the word “family” has so many meanings.

Together with the help of Romanian Orthodox Church and the Empowered party (the socialists) this “Coalition” coagulated around some very clear path that in the end leads to the re-creation of the “traditional family” (whatever that is) in which the State should support some pretty debatable, family oriented, laws.

They started with the implementation of the first one, which translated into this weekend’s Referendum. 

While on the judicial plain the Coalition tried to convince that they are merely trying to “secure” the marriage institution for the heterosexuals (although we already have that definition in the Civil Law) while not denying another form of civil contract, that at the time of writing, we don’t have in our legislation. Go figure.

The fact that the Church tried to help, didn’t really aid them in this endeavour. Though maybe different entities, the Coalition was regarded from the beginning (by its disputatious) as an appendix of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The ferocity of its attacks and the stupidity of its endeavours during the preparations weeks of this Referendum is incredible. I only pity my fellows Romanians who chose to fall into the pit of the stupidity of masses when it comes to blindly follow such a despicable Church.

From the beginning though, everything about this Referendum was about hate. Things escalated and this topic opened up the expected Pandora Box of the eternal debate about whether or not should gay couples exist in freedom. Yes, Romania is still a country that didn’t debate this at all, a big chunk of the population is very poor and very old while the young people that are still in the country and haven’t already left for Western Europe and in consequence the level of understanding the issue is very low. From here, hate speech was just a foot away.

Romania Referendum propaganda
(source) Reads: “Vote YES in the Referendum for marriage to be between man and women. Defend the family and Romania’s children. If you’ll not vote 2 men will be able to adopt your child.”

Social media and street media were overcrowded with different bits of propaganda that plagued both the environments as well as the society in its whole. In my opinion, the politicians of the country managed to induce a certain sociological pain inside masses of people because of this. They somehow managed to split society into two distinct groups, pretty much ready to kill each other, turning them against each other through political machinations and hate speech.

As things were escalating, in spite of the majority of the political parties that pretty much wanted a piece of the somehow certain political pie and went on with the “historical need for Romanians to protect the family”, only one political formation (the newest one that managed to get into Parliament) got a hold on the normal things and proposed the only normal alternative to this sharade: DON’T VOTE.

The reasons were clear (for any decent man):

  •  there’s no normality or honour in denying somebody’s rights
  • the Referendum (which cost 40 million Euro BTW) didn’t really solve anything as we already had the family’s definition in the Civil Law
  • there was no reason to participate in the political schemes and the “gathering of voters” the bastards politicians intended to do;
  • the hate speech and the splitting in half of the society based on ideological things were something that didn’t bring honour neither to the Church nor the politicians, so taking part in this would only get you dirty on the inside
Romanian Referendum church meeting
(source) The Socialists even held meetings in churches, a few days prior to the Referendum, in order to discuss, propagandistically, about the need of the modification in the Constitution

The level to which the Church descended couldn’t have gone any lower than it did. There was an episode this weekend with a priest giving lectures about how to vote “YES” in the Referendum, to the family of the deceased that was sitting in the middle of the Church waiting for his last sermon. Another one, Sunday morning, with a priest herding his flock from the Sunday sermon directly to the Voting Booths. Another one was fined by Police a few days ago because he was sticking flyers with “YES” Propaganda on the doors of the blocks of flats in his area, leaving his name and his cell phone number on the flyer. Talk about being plain stupid and not in God’s graces eh?

The Outcome

This simulacrum of a Referendum has been held for two days. 6th and 7th of October. While all the European Committees warned Romania that a 2-day Referendum is not the most transparent thing to organise, the power here didn’t care about this.

If you’d only check photos of the seals that they used in order to “make sure” the votes are not altered over the night, you would laugh about it: stamped pieces of paper, glued over the cracks of the doors or windows with scotch tape.

Romanian Referendum Seals
(source) Look at that scotch tape and imagine how hard it must be to take it off. A real pain in the ass for the vote thieves!

On top of everything, imagine that there were no electronic means of checking double voting live. Romania has bought a system for that and during the last elections we’ve had, in the voting centres, they had tablets that were checking live if you voted already somewhere else.  But during this Referendum, they decided not to use it. Why?! Because of that, yesterday we had voting centres that had even 450% voting participation. And that happened in a centre set up in a monastery. Who da’ fuck sets up a voting centre in a monastery, in 2018, for God’s sake?!

Just to close the list of things they did, with the help of the governing party (the damn Socialists), weeks before the Referendum, the Parliament approved the modification of the electoral law that validated Referendums IF the minimum participation is 50% + a unit. The law was absolutely logical. In case of a popular scrutiny, you have to have a clear majority that decides about the fact in the case, for the minority. They dropped the minimum required participation for validating the Referendum to 30%. Roughly 6 million people. If that isn’t a law that encourages frauds, I don’t know what is then.

Romanian Referendum voting centres
Voting centre gate. Hey, please, don’t go crowding on me, please, form a line…

We closed Saturday evening with 5.70% participation. A little more than 1 million people voted. Though it started well we knew that Sunday (yesterday) was the day we should fear:

  • Sunday’s morning sermon would bring the sheep to vote together with their shepherds
  • Sunday is somehow a traditional voting day
  • Because Romania is still in a big amount, rural, in the households people are still working on Saturdays while Sundays are for resting

So we weren’t out of the bush.

On Sunday, at about 10:00 o’clock we saw that glimpse of hope: in a certain voting centre in Bucharest NONE of the 2000 something, registered voters, voted up to that hour. As hours went by and exit polls were starting to paint the dire picture (for the fanatics), it was clear that it was impossible to get a 30% participation in order to validate the Referendum. The “Don’t Vote” movement worked great and people gave 0 fucks for their expensive and full of hate Referendum.

At 21:00 they barely reached something around 20% participation.

What does it mean for Romania?

It means that we, in our majority, accepted the European main value: tolerance. More than that, we finally managed to move our narrow minds that were instructed (somehow drawing this from communist periods) to do not accept this. We managed, in our majority, to unite and deny a certain law that would come as a “roadblock” for a minority.

In a country that is kept very tightly in an Orthodox leash, being able to break that underneath layer of religious fanatism is very hard. That is because certain rules of the Church are totally against Human Rights in the end. Basing their arguments on religious customs, it is almost impossible to reason with these guys, that are confusing the church rules with the State Laws. State Laws can’t be composed based on what a certain religion dictates.

I guess we haven’t heard the last of the Coalition for the Family. I guess that sooner rather than later, they will come biting our ass in the form of a political party. Or at least they will try and the decision will be in the hands of the Justice Department if they should be allowed or not, if they are representing any kind of extremism or not.

But that’s the beauty of diversity… they should be allowed to try. They should have (and they have) this right. And nobody should deny them that right.

Not as they’ve tried to deny the association right of a certain, sexual, minority.

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