The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that same-sex spouses have residency rights whether or not the country they’re residing in recognizes same-sex marriage.
Politico reports: “The EU’s law on freedom of movement — which allows for a spouse to join his or her partner residing in an EU country — applies to same-sex couples, the court ruled, specifying that the term “spouse” does not exclusively refer to a member of a heterosexual couple. The ruling relates to a 2012 case in which Romanian authorities refused to grant residency rights to a male U.S. national, Robert Hamilton, who was married to a Romanian national, Relu Coman.”
The Telegraph adds: “The judgement comes 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. Instead he would only be allowed to stay in Romania for three months.”
Said the ECOJ: “Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory.”
Said Coman: “Romanian citizens cannot be divided into good and gay. We can no longer be treated as inferior citizens without equal rights on the basis of the prejudices that some people have about homosexuality.”