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Romania: EU Parliament 'Shocked' At Tougher Homosexuality Law

Strasbourg, 20 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The parliament of the 15-nation European Union has expressed its "shock (and) profound indignation" over last week's decision by Romania's Chamber of Deputies to introduce tougher penalties for homosexual relations between consenting adults.

In a resolution adopted yesterday, the European Parliament called on Romanian President Ion Iliescu to prevent the entry into force of the amendments to the national penal code proposed by the deputies.

The resolution noted that the law would come into force only if it is approved by both houses of the Romanian Parliament and signed by the president. It also recalled that the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, of which Romania is a member, has called on Bucharest to decriminalize same-sex relationships.

Homosexuality in Romania is now subject to prison sentences of up to three years. The proposed amendments would make homosexual acts punishable by up to five years' imprisonment.