'Spouse' includes same-sex partners, European Union court adviser says

Elias Hubbard
January 11, 2018

The finding involves the case of Romanian national Adrian Coman and his American partner, Clai Hamilton, who tied the knot in Brussels in 2010 but have since been denied the right to live in Romania together.

Married gay couples have the same rights of residency as heterosexual spouses under European Union freedom of movement laws even if same sex marriage is banned in the country they move to, a senior EU judge has said. We can hopefully now be closer to being recognised as a family.

"Romanian citizens can not be divided into good and gay".

"Starting this litigation, we realized that we had to take it to the end, whatever the end was", Mr. Coman said in an interview in November, when the European court, based in Luxembourg, began examining the case.

This week, ECJ advocate general Melchior Wathelet said that should include same-sex spouses who Wednesday in a country that has equal marriage on the books. "But the way to get there, which includes the EU Court of Justice and further the Romanian court, is what we can do".

In his opinion to the court, Mr. Wathelet pointed to the general evolution of views on same-sex marriage in member states over the last decade, adding that according to the definition generally accepted by the member states, the idea that marriage means a union between two persons of the opposite sex "can no longer be followed".

Homosexuality in Romania was illegal until 2000, when the country decriminalised it after harsh criticism from the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Some 3 million people signed a petition backing a referendum to amend the Romanian Constitution so it explicitly states that marriage only can be a union between a man and a woman. Like Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia do not give same-sex couples any legal rights or responsibilities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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