Rising fascism in Romania
-The Coalition for Family-
By Alex Liță
In recent history (after 1989), Romania has had a rich but very weak fascist movement. I say rich because there were numerous fascist organizations or people who joined fascist ideologies, and I would like to name just some of them: ‘Uniţi sub tricolor’ (United under the flag); ‘Noua Dreaptă’ (New Right); ‘Partidul România Unită’ (United Romania Party); ‘Partidul Romania Mare’ (Great Romania Party); and in some points ‘Biserica Ortodoxă Română’ (the Romanian Orthodox Church). I say weak fascist movement, except Romania Unite Party in the early 2000s (I don’t take into account the Romanian Orthodox Church), because they are not able to be coherent with themselves and as a consequences nobody is interested in their ideas, but there can be some other reasons aswell.
First of all, I have to mention that the Romanian Orthodox Church do not promote exclusively fascist ideas, just in some points their beliefs are fascist. Basically the Romanian Orthodox Church promote traditional and conservative values but when they are talking about non christian minorities (mostly muslims but not only) and LGBTQIA+ community their opinions are violent conservative, I would say fascist. Furthermore, some priests and monks are nationalists and as a consequences they support the romanian fascist ideology which is a specific type of fascism (a mix between orthodox christian beliefs and nationalism). Also, they deny the romanian holocaust (one of the cruelest in the world), and they created the cult of Zelea Codreanu (who was the leader of the Romanian fascist movement between two world wars) and other fascist leaders.
Regarding current fascist groups, they are still weak but some of them a little bit more organized under a conservative-aggressive umbrella (with a big fascist potential)2.
In 2013, the governmental coalition USL (Social Liberal Union) formed between PSD (Social Democrat Party) and PNL (National Liberal Party) started the disscution for the changing of the Romanian constitution. In that time, someone proposed to change the definition of the family as it is written in constitution1.
So in this context, after the governmental coalition broke up and the change of the constitution failed because of it, the Coalition for Family appeared from out of nowhere and started to collect signatures for changing the constitution, specifically article 48 which defines the family.
With the help of the Romanian Orthodox Church’s infrastructure, the Coalition for Family collected 3 million signatures for changing article 48 in the constitution (the definition proposed by them, is the same definition proposed in 2013). To collect that amount of signatures the Coalition for Family used the authority of priests in every small communities. The process in my home village (Ocniţa, Dâmboviţa), for example, was as it follow: there are 2 churches, the priests (individually, not all together) came in each house (not all in the same houses, one priest for one area) and started to talk about the gay community, spreading fear and hate, then they asked each member of the house who were more than 18 years old to sign against the gay community. I would say, some people had no idea what they had signed for, because the priests use the fear and hate mechanism and their „moral” authority to constrain people to sign.
After they collected the signatures and brought them to the Romanian Parliament, they won some judicial battles. For example, The Constitutional Court pronounced that is constitutional to change the article 48 in the way they want.
The last important point in their short history was when The Romanian (public) Television create a televised debate (pro and against changing of the constitution). The Coalition for Family team was composed from a priest, an economist, a lawyer, a sociologist and an university professor, they were aggressive and they treated their opponents without respect. Finally, one of the members of The Coalition for Family team said that Hitler was a good guy but that he got insane after 1942.
Membership and principles of The Coalition for Family
The Coalition for Family is a coalition of 46 NGOs from diverse fields (mostly in the religious area). In the following I am going to name just some of them (with some of the strangest names): „The Association of Orthodox Men from Romania”; „The Association of Orthodox Places”; „Romanian Association of Orthodox Youth”; „Association Ieromonah3 Arsenie Boca”; „Association Pro Vita”. All member NGOs in this coalition are spread in the whole geographical space of the Romanian state (even in small towns or villages)
Their specific goals, according to their website (coalitiapentrufamilie.ro), are to focus on redefining the family in the Romanian constitution, informing the younger generation about the family and the importance of a family, and on improving the institution of marriage by refusing the alternatives (civil partnership), also they campaign for „traditional families” (mother, father, children), but, actually, against single parent families. These values, the traditions, the churches (orthodox, baptists, adventist, etc) and the laws are used as arguments to cut the rights of other people. The idea of majority is overvalued and uses as a supreme argument in this ideological struggle.
Moreover, the Coalition for Family have a manifesto named „Measures for Public Policies Related with Family – 50 Proposals”. This manifesto is openly against abortion, contraceptive means, and in some cases against divorce, but in favor of: increased punishment (in general), childcare only by women (with substantial subsidy for each child and flexibilization of working-time just for women who have a child/ children), legalize homeschooling etc. Their goals and ideas are driving us to social regress, those ideas are driving us back to the time of the communist dictatorship.
Instead of conclusions
This is a conservative-aggressive step towards a fascist society. Now is not about LGBTQIA+ community it’s about our freedom, it’s about our future. If we lost, we are going to see the fascistization of Romania, but still, to defend the status-quo is not a struggle, the struggle is to destroy the oppression (the state, the sexist way of thinking, the churches, capitalism, the local mafia).
2Not all of them are fascist
1Current definition: „the family is build on consensus between partners”;
Desired definition: „family is build on consensus between man and woman”