A voter referendum that sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union in the Romanian constitution has failed.

According to the Associated Press, the referendum failed to reach the 30 percent turnout of registered voters needed to be valid. Fewer than 21 percent of voters participated.

Romania's constitution currently defines marriage as a union between “spouses.” This weekend's referendum – held on Saturday and Sunday – sought 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.

Groups opposed to the initiative had called on voters to boycott the referendum.

“Together, through the boycott campaign, we showed that we, as citizens, want a Romania based upon democratic values, a country where respect, equality and common sense guides society,” the Accept Association, which opposed the initiative, said in a statement. “Today we have shown that we can not be fooled by a political agenda that urges us to hate and polarize society. We have shown that most of us believe that human rights are not to be voted at a referendum.”

“This nationwide debate over marriage equality has changed hearts and minds in a land that is proud of its Christian traditions,” said HRC Global Innovator Mihnea Florea of Romania. “Our campaign brought the LGBTQ community together and made it stronger. With the help of allies across Romania, we’ve spread a strong message of equality and solidarity. I am proud to see fellow Romanians accepting people of different identities, choosing love over hate and showing to the world that Christianity is first and foremost about love and respect.”

Mihai Gheorghiu, spokesman for the Coalition for the Family, suggested that there would be another attempt to strengthen Romania's laws prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

“Next time we'll succeed,” Gheorghiu is quoted as saying by the AP. “Let's be happy for this day. The Christian vote exists.”