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 11:11 AM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 11:11 AM

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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61839

Reported Deaths: 1707
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19569839
Ramsey7717268
Dakota4507106
Anoka3752115
Stearns290920
Washington216345
Nobles17686
Olmsted176723
Scott159020
Mower11052
Rice10388
Blue Earth9325
Wright8975
Carver8783
Clay78840
Sherburne7328
Kandiyohi7021
St. Louis57319
Todd4292
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Steele3512
Nicollet34713
Watonwan3230
Benton3203
Winona26416
Beltrami2440
Crow Wing23814
Le Sueur2261
Martin2095
Chisago2041
McLeod2020
Goodhue1999
Otter Tail1983
Cottonwood1780
Becker1611
Pipestone1589
Polk1554
Waseca1490
Itasca14612
Douglas1441
Carlton1420
Unassigned13141
Dodge1290
Isanti1290
Pine1290
Murray1241
Chippewa1071
Morrison931
Wabasha930
Brown892
Faribault890
Meeker872
Rock850
Sibley842
Koochiching793
Jackson790
Pennington751
Cass742
Mille Lacs723
Fillmore670
Renville665
Lincoln580
Grant563
Swift551
Yellow Medicine520
Roseau520
Pope480
Houston420
Aitkin411
Norman400
Kanabec371
Redwood360
Hubbard350
Wilkin343
Marshall290
Wadena270
Mahnomen271
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49380

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10444208
Woodbury373452
Black Hawk315766
Linn242888
Johnson211819
Dallas189835
Buena Vista179412
Scott174314
Dubuque169831
Marshall145026
Pottawattamie133228
Story117315
Wapello90533
Muscatine85148
Webster8268
Crawford7313
Sioux6433
Cerro Gordo63417
Warren5721
Tama55429
Jasper48127
Wright4751
Plymouth47011
Clinton4164
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2623
Hamilton2511
Franklin24512
Bremer2307
Clarke2043
Clay2011
Carroll1942
Emmet1934
Des Moines1872
Shelby1861
Hardin1840
Marion1750
Poweshiek1608
Benton1601
Floyd1582
Allamakee1564
Jackson1561
Mahaska14217
Guthrie1355
Cedar1341
Jones1332
Buchanan1291
Henry1274
Madison1252
Butler1252
Hancock1212
Lee1183
Humboldt1181
Pocahontas1172
Delaware1171
Lyon1152
Harrison1101
Cherokee1101
Clayton1063
Taylor1000
Winneshiek971
Iowa971
Page950
Monona910
Kossuth900
Mills890
Palo Alto880
Jefferson870
Calhoun862
Winnebago860
Sac860
Fayette850
Osceola840
Grundy801
Mitchell790
Cass791
Union781
Monroe748
Lucas734
Worth670
Davis612
Montgomery604
Chickasaw550
Appanoose513
Howard500
Fremont430
Greene430
Keokuk371
Van Buren361
Ida310
Adair300
Audubon291
Decatur250
Ringgold231
Wayne201
Adams160
Unassigned10
Rochester
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
More rain chances to finish off the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 8/12

Image

More students enrolling Pine Island

Image

Rochester's Ronald McDonald House adapting to new normal

Image

Shots fired at Rochester apartment complex

Image

Big Rochester Races on MN Primary Ballot

Image

Jump Bikes in Rochester

Image

Coaches react to Big Ten cancellation

Image

Wind Farm Project Update

Image

Biden chooses a running mate

Image

The impact of a pandemic on a primary

Community Events