Romania's top court has ruled that gay couples should have the same family rights as heterosexuals, a judgment that comes ahead of a national referendum seeking to ban same-sex marriage.
The Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples had the same rights to a private and family life as heterosexuals and should "benefit from.... legal and juridical recognition of their rights and obligations."
The ruling on September 27 comes ahead of an October 6-7 referendum that is seeking to limit the constitutional definition of family to heterosexual, married couples.
The Romanian constitution currently says marriage is between spouses. The referendum seeks to change that to explicitly state that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Critics say amending the constitution could violate human rights and amounts to antigay discrimination.