Victory in Romania: The Constitutional Court rejects the amendment banning the teaching of gender

The Romanian Constitutional Court has rejected the amendment to the law on national education that prohibited the teaching of gender in secondary schools and higher education, declaring it unconstitutional.

This amendment (Article 7, para. (1) e)) was adopted on 16 June 2020 by the Senate of Romania. It modified and supplemented Article 7 of the Law on National Education nr 1 / 2011.

On 10 July 2020, the President of Romania referred the law to the Constitutional Court, raising several objections of unconstitutionality.

The Constitutional Court adjourned the decision three times (on 30 September, 28 October and 9 December).

This amendment has generated a strong national and international mobilization in support of gender studies and the teaching of gender. A petition directed at the President was launched, against enacting the law. Over 50,000 signatures were collected. In June 2020, the Gender International launched an international call against the ban on the teaching of gender in Romania, which was widely circulated. In September, an international petition has collected nearly 900 signatures from teachers, researchers, rectors and presidents of universities, professional associations, laboratories and research groups. Several Amicus Curiae have also been submitted.

The article 7 adopted in June is the following:

“Art. no. 7 – (1) In the educational units and institutions and in all spaces meant for education and professional training, including units offering extracurricular education, [the following] are forbidden:

  1. Activities breaching norms of morality;
  2. Activities that might endanger the health and physical or mental integrity of children and youth, as well as teaching, auxiliary, and non-teaching staff;
  3. Activities of a political nature;
  4. Religious proselytism;
  5. Activities aimed at spreading the gender identity theory or opinion, understood as the theory or opinion that gender is a different concept from that of biological sex and that the two are not always identical;
  6. Activities that infringe upon the principles specified in Art. No. 3.”

The Gender International welcomes this decision but calls for vigilance in an international context where gender studies and the rights of women and sexual minorities are the object of strong reactionary and authoritarian resistance.

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