Romanian novelist Alex Andronic fears a referendum this weekend seeking to exclude gay and lesbian couples from marriage will stir hate and discrimination.

Romania's constitution currently defines marriage as a union between “spouses.” This weekend's referendum seeks to change that by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. A group called the Coalition for the Family gathered 3 million signatures to put the question before voters. The government and the Orthodox Church have endorsed the initiative.

After Andronic, 25, posted his opposition to the referendum on Facebook, he received an outpouring of hateful comments.

“Take the rights I'm already not benefiting from if it calms you down, brings you closer to God, tradition and family welfare,” he wrote. “Do exactly as you feel. Because I know what it's like to be unable to do as you feel.”

Andronic told Reuters from his bar in downtown Bucharest: “This referendum gave people a reason to spread as much hate as possible and we will suffer because of it.”

Antonella, a 28-year-old transgender woman, said during a rally in late September that she's experienced an increase in transphobic episodes since the referendum was approved.

“Since the referendum was approved the number of transphobic episodes I've encountered has more than doubled,” she said. “We existed in the past. We will exist in the future. We must have a say.”