FILE - In this Saturday, June 9, 2018 file photo, two girls kiss holding a rainbow flag during the gay pride parade in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's top court has ruled that gay couples should have the same family rights as heterosexuals, a judgment that comes before a referendum seeking to ban same-sex marriage. The Constitutional Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the same rights to a private and family life as heterosexuals. Teodora Ion-Rotaru, of the gay rights group Accept, told The Associated Press on Friday, Sept. 28 the ruling was "extremely important." (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, file)

Romania live TV debate on same-sex marriage interrupted

September 29, 2018 - 3:50 am

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's national broadcaster has apologized after a studio camera operator interrupted a live TV debate on a referendum seeking to ban same-sex marriage.

TVR1 said sorry to viewers Saturday after a broadcast was interrupted when a technical staff member used "inappropriate language," during a Friday evening discussion between a spokesman supporting the referendum and a gay rights activist.

There is heated debate in Romania before the Oct. 6-7 referendum, which is seeking to limit the constitutional definition of family to heterosexual, married couples. Romania doesn't recognize same-sex marriage or grant legal protection to same-sex couples.

But the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that gay couples should have the same family and legal rights as heterosexuals.

The referendum, backed by the Romanian Orthodox Church, needs a 30-percent turnout to be valid.

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