STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

EU's top court hands major win to same-sex couples

The European Union's top court ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same residency rights as other married...

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 12:11 PM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 12:11 PM

The European Union's top court ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same residency rights as other married couples, even in member states that don't recognize gay marriage.

The term "spouse" is gender-neutral and includes same-sex partners, the Court of Justice of the European Union concluded in its judgment. Member states should grant all married couples the right to move and reside freely within the EU, regardless of their sexual orientation, the court said.

With its judgment, the court sided with a gay couple who was denied the right to reside together in Romania, which does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Advocacy groups hailed the court's judgment as the first of its kind to include same-sex couples in the definition of spouse for the purpose of free movement, which allows EU citizens to move and reside freely among member states. But it stopped short of obligating Romania or other member states to allow same-sex marriage.

While member states are free to decide whether to allow same-sex marriage within their borders, the court said that they should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other EU states for the purposes of residency and free movement.

"Equality, fairness and pragmatism were at the core of today's verdict from Luxembourg. The CJEU has acknowledged that rainbow families should be recognized equally in the eyes of the law on freedom of movement," Evelyne Paradis, executive director of advocacy group ILGA-Europe, said in a statement. "Now we want to see the Romanian authorities ... move swiftly to make this judgment a reality."

The couple behind the ruling

Adrian Coman, a dual US-Romanian citizen, met Claibourn Hamilton, a US citizen, in New York in June 2002. The two lived there together from 2005 to 2009.

Coman moved to Brussels in 2009 to work at the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant while Hamilton stayed in New York. They were married in Brussels in 2010.

In December 2012, when Coman's employment ended, the couple considered moving to Romania to be closer to Coman's family. They contacted Romanian authorities to find out how Hamilton could obtain the right to work and reside lawfully there for more than three months as a member of Coman's family.

Under the EU's right to free movement, non-EU spouses married to EU citizens may join their partner in a member state where the European national resides. The couple sought a residency permit for Hamilton based on the right to free movement, assuming it would apply to Hamilton. Romanian authorities said that Hamilton could not be classified as a spouse of an EU citizen in Romania because it does not recognize marriage between persons of the same sex.

The couple brought an action before the Romanian courts seeking a declaration of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Romania's Constitutional Court asked the Court of Justice to determine if Hamilton should be considered a spouse of an EU citizen with the same right to permanent residency.

Because the term "spouse" includes same-sex partners, member states must treat them the same as any other spouse, the court ruled. To refuse residency to an EU citizen's spouse may interfere with that citizen's right to move freely.

The court emphasized that recognizing same-sex marriages performed in another member state "does not require that Member State to provide, in its national law, for the institution of homosexual marriage." Nor does it "undermine the national identity or pose a threat to the public policy of the Member State concerned."

While the ruling leaves the state of same-sex marriage in Romania in limbo, Coman and others are calling it a win.

"We can now look in the eyes of any public official in Romania and across the EU with certainty that our relationship is equally valuable and equally relevant, for the purpose of free movement within the EU," Coman said in a statement through ILGA-Europe.

"We are grateful to the EU Court and to the many people and institutions who have supported us, and through us, other same-sex couples in a similar situation," he said. "It is human dignity that wins today."

West Lafayette
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Kokomo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Fowler
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 57°
Williamsport
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Crawfordsville
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 58°
Frankfort
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Delphi
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Monticello
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Continued Comfortable Temperatures
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events