Romania’s LGBT community sees gains, ongoing rights struggle

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08/22/2021

The last person jailed for being gay in Romania walked free in 1998. The country decriminalized homosexuality three years after that, in 2001, while reforming its laws to qualify for membership in the European Union. The 20th anniversary of the abolishment of Article 200, which authorized prison sentences of up to five years for same-sex relations, was one cause for celebration during the gay pride parade and festival held in Romania’s capital this month. People danced, waved rainbow flags and watched performances at Bucharest Pride 2021, an event that would have been unimaginable a generation earlier. Yet many members of Romania’s LGBT community remain frustrated by the Central European nation’s failure to go further and pass laws that would legalize same-sex unions or marriages. There are also fears of a conservative backlash to the gains achieved so far.

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