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Romania's anti-same-sex marriage vote fails to meet legal turnout

Data from the national election bureau shows that only 20.4 percent of Romanians voted in the referendum.

Romania's two-day referendum aiming to constitutionally define marriage as a union between man and woman has failed to meet the required 30 percent voter turnout, according to the final count.

Data from the national election bureau showed on Sunday that only 20.4 percent of Romanians had voted.

The religious conservative Coalition for the Family, which had requested the referendum, gave an indirect admission of defeat on Sunday afternoon, blaming political parties for a "general boycott" of the vote.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said that "I voted for the values in which I believe", adding that "it is our civic duty to express our views".

The constitution as written currently is gender neutral on the subject of marriage, defining it as a union between two "spouses".

But conservative campaigners want the document changed to state that the union is between a man and woman.

Romania decriminalised homosexuality in 2001. But it is among a handful of European Union states that do not offer any form of civil union to same-sex couples.

Any bid to change the constitution could have hampered efforts to legalise same-sex marriage in the future.

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