Two men draped in rainbow flags are seen in a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, Oct. 7, 2018, following a referendum on marriage which was voided due to low voter turnout.
Two men draped in rainbow flags are seen in a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, Oct. 7, 2018, following a referendum on marriage which was voided due to low voter turnout.

BUCHAREST - Romania's president says the country needs dialogue and tolerance in the wake of a referendum that aimed to make it harder to legalize same-sex marriage. The vote was voided because of low turnout.

Klaus Iohannis was the first senior Romanian politician to come out in support of same-sex partnerships. He called Tuesday for “a mature approach and openness to dialogue,” and a society “without fear and alarm caused by imaginary dangers.”

He said: “Only with tolerance can we overcome the divide threatening to separate us. Although we are different, we all ... [want] a country where European values and principles are respected.”

Showing his disapproval of the two-day ballot, Iohannis voted just before polls closed, and declined to comment. 

The referendum needed a 30-percent turnout. Just 20 percent voted.