BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — A Romanian queer advocacy group alleges that 10 people wearing hoods attacked a group of seven young men and women who had attended a debate about homosexuality in Bucharest, Gay Star News reports.
Two of the people who were assaulted were taken to hospital where one was admitted to the plastic surgery ward, while the other was discharged the same night. The attackers allegedly claimed they were opposing the “organization of gay events,” the report says.
Romania has decriminalized homosexuality, enacted anti-discrimination laws, equalized the age of consent and introduced laws against homophobic hate crimes, the report notes, but the country remains socially conservative, and discrimination against queer citizens still occurs.
"We are firmly requesting the authorities in charge with the public safety of the citizens to review the necessary procedures, in order to adequately apply the hate crime law in Romania,” says Irina Nita, executive director of Accept. “People have the need to feel safe and to express themselves in safety, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, opinion or faith."
In the same year — 2006 — that Human Rights Watch said Romania had made “exemplary progress” in fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, some participants in Bucharest Pride were attacked in a subway. During the Pride celebrations, a rightwing group also staged an anti-gay protest
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