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European Court of Justice advisors say gay spouses have equal rights

European Court of Justice advisors say gay spouses have equal rights

The Luxembourg-based court but not always follows the legal opinions of its advocates general.

The legal opinion was issued after an American man, Clai Hamilton, was denied residency in Romania with Adrian Coman, his Romanian husband, because gay marriage is illegal in that country.

Under the E.U.'s 2004 freedom of movement principle, member states are required to grant residency to citizens' spouses from non-E.U. countries.

EU Advocate General Melchior Wathelet advised [opinion, PDF] the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] Thursday that the rights of same-sex spouses must be recognized by every member of the EU, even if a country's government has not authorized same-sex marriage.

"That conclusion also applies in respect of that citizen's country of origin, when he returns there after residing on a permanent basis in another Member State in which he has developed or consolidated a family life, as Mr Coman has done with Mr Hamilton in the present case".

The judge added that "the objective of protecting the traditional family can not justify discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation" and that "the concept of "spouse" within the meaning of the directive also includes spouses of the same sex". Romania's constitutional court then referred the case to the European court (ECJ).

Mother Of H&M Model Tells Everyone To 'Get Over It
However, they were soon forced to issue a second statement , doubling down on their apology as the chorus of voices grew louder. This is the kind of thing that lets you know that no people of color were around or consulted in the marketing of this product.

Although the decision has been approved by members of the ECJ, a final decision is still to be approved in a full court case.

The Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld said: "This is fantastic news and a landmark opinion for rainbow families".

However, the Romanian authorities refused to grant Mr Hamilton that right of residence on the ground, inter alia, that he could not be classified in Romania as the "spouse" of an European Union citizen, that member state not recognising same-sex marriage. In addition to Romania, other E.U. countries that have no legislation recognizing same-sex unions or marriages include Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria.

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

More than a dozen European Union countries have not legalised marriage equality, including Italy, Greece and Slovenia, but Wathelet was at pains to emphasise that this case was not about same-sex marriage.

"Granting the spouse of a union citizen a right of residence constitutes recognition and the minimum guarantee that can be given them", the opinion concludes.


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