The rights of same-sex spouses must be recognised by every member of the EU, even if a country’s government has not authorised gay marriage, the European court of justice has been advised.
In what has been hailed as a major step forward for equal rights, Melchior Wathelet, a Belgian advocate general in the Luxembourg court, said gay spouses had standing in countries even where governments were implacably opposed to same-sex marriage.
Opinions given by ECJ advocate generals are non-binding on the court’s judges but are normally followed by the full court. A final decision will be delivered in the coming months.
Wathelet’s opinion was given in the case of a Romanian national, Adrian Coman, who wanted to be able to build a life in Romania with his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, with whom he had been living for four years in the US before marrying in Brussels in 2010.
Romania prohibits marriage between people of the same sex. It is one of six EU member states, along with Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia, that offer no legal recognition for same-sex relationships. Read more via the Guardian