European Court of Justice advisors say gay spouses have equal rights

12 January, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Wade Massey
  • European Court of Justice advisors say gay spouses have equal rights

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.

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". It is one of six European Union member states, along with Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia, that offer no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.

Although opinions by advocates are non-binding, they are often followed by the full court when a decision is made in the coming months.

EU law permits a in the member state where the European national resides.

Romania does not have marriage equality - but it must now recognize the rights of same-sex spouses. The country does not recognize any form of legal union between those of the same gender.

"If his opinion will be accepted by the courts, it will mean jurisprudential change in the definition of "spouse" according to European Union law", she said.

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The EU's freedom of movement principle grants rights to an EU citizen's spouse, without specifying how spouse is defined.

"In his opinion delivered today, advocate general Melchior Wathelet states, first of all, that the legal issue at the centre of the dispute is not that of the legalisation of same-sex marriage, but that of the free movement of European Union citizens", the court said in a statement. It will also ensure the term "spouse" is always seen as gender neutral by law.

Wathelet wrote that the definition of marriage being between two persons of the opposite sex was becoming outdated, referring to "the general evolution of the societies of the member states of the European Union in the last decade in the area of authorisation of same-sex marriage".

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

The opinion was given on the case of a Romanian national, Adrian Coman, who wishes to build a life in Romania with his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, who he lived with in the USA before marrying in Brussels in 2010. That in 2010 are married in Brussels, where homosexual marriage is legal.

A senior adviser to the European Union's top court has backed a Romanian gay man's right to have his United States husband live with him in Romania. Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia still grant no legal recognition to same-sex couples.

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