Lithuania's top court rejects anti-gay discrimination

Lithuania's top court ruled on Friday that the Baltic EU state must grant residence permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens even though same-sex unions are not recognised by law.

In a landmark ruling for gay rights in this deeply Catholic country, the constitutional court condemned the routine denial of residency permits for the spouses of gay citizens who married abroad. The practice, it said, was discriminatory and a breach of human dignity.

"The refusal to issue permits cannot be based only on gender identity or sexual orientation," it said.

Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League, hailed it as "a progressive ruling that sends an important message to our LGBT community and politicians. Read more via AFP