Low turnout voids Romanian marriage vote

Election officials in Romania say too few voters participated in a weekend referendum that sought to put a same-sex marriage ban into the country's constitution, so the vote is void.

The Central Election Bureau reported after polls closed Sunday that 20.41% of registered voters cast ballots on the proposed amendment. The referendum needed at least 30% turnout to be valid.

The failed amendment would have changed the definition of family in Romania's Constitution to make marriage a union between a man and a woman instead of between "spouses.'' Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Romania.

The conservative Coalition for Family that spearheaded the referendum and has blamed "disinformation'' for low voter turnout.  The coalition initiated the referendum with a signature petition. The Romanian Orthodox Church supported the constitutional revision.

Opponents had encouraged voters to boycott the referendum.