Romanian Constitutional Court Strikes Down Law Prohibiting Gender Theory in Education
In June 2020, the Romanian Parliament adopted a law forbidding the spread of the gender identity theory in all schools and universities, including extracurricular activities. The law, submitted by a right-wings MP and an independent MP, amended the general law on education (Law no. 1/2011), imposing fines for the spread of the theory that there is a distinction between sex and gender. The first is understood as “the set of biological and physiological features by which women and men are defined”, while the second refers to “the ensemble of roles, behaviours, features and activities that the society considers suitable for women and for men”. The two concepts are clearly defined and regulated in the national legislation.
However, prior to this law’s entry into force, the President challenged the law before the Constitutional Court, claiming it is contrary to numerous articles of the Constitution. Most notably, he claimed that it contradicts Article 29 on the freedom of conscience and Article 16 on Equality of rights of all citizens before the law, Article 30 on the freedom of expression and the prohibition of censorship and Article 32, which guarantees the autonomy of universities. In January 2021, the Constitutional Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional by a majority of votes.
The law has been returned to the Parliament for adjustment to the provisions of the Constitution and is currently under review.
This article is written as a part of the Intersect Voices project. The project is coordinated by the Deaconess Foundation with three other partner organizations: Asociatia E-Romnja and Asociatia Centrul Pentru Legislatie Nonprofit from Romania and Romni Onlus from Italy. The goal of the project is to combat the discrimination faced by Roma women by improving the understanding of the diverse experiences of multiple and intersectional discrimination and by supporting the mobilisation of its victims.
Intersect Voices project is funded by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) funding program.Read more about project Intersect Voices in Europe
 Pl-x nr. 617/2019, http://www.cdep.ro/pls/proiecte/upl_pck2015.proiect?cam=2&idp=18210
 According Law no. 202/2002 on equal opportunities and treatment between women and men