European Union court advisor recommends recognizing same-sex couples' rights throughout EU

The European Court of Justice

Melchior Wathelet, who is a Belgian advocate in the court, said that the new rules will ensure that the rights of individuals are always upheld.

Hearing a plea of unconstitutionality raised in the context of that dispute, the Curtea Constituţională (Constitutional Court, Romania) asked the European Court of Justice whether Mr Hamilton, as the spouse of an EU citizen having exercised his freedom of movement, must be granted a right of permanent residence in Romania.

The directive came about after Romanian officials refused to grant residency to Claibourn Hamilton, an American who married his Romanian partner, Adrian Coman, in Brussels in 2010, reports The Guardian.

"Although member states are free to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex or not, they may not impede the freedom of residence of an European Union citizen by refusing to grant his or her spouse of the same sex, a national of a non-EU country, a right of permanent residence in their territory", he said.

"They can not hinder freedom of residence of a citizen of Union by denying grant to ir spouse, of same sex, national of a non-member State of Union, a right of permanent residence in ir territory", he says.

EU law [materials] permits the spouse of an EU citizen to obtain a residence permit for the EU member state where the spouse resides.

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A 2004 directive on the EU's freedom of movement principle gives rights to an European Union citizen's spouse, without specifying how "spouse" is defined.

Judges are not bound by the advocate general's view, but tend to follow it.

The senior adviser also stated that "in the area of family reunification, the objective of protecting the traditional family can not justify discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation".

They turned down the request because Romanian law prohibits same-sex marriages and does not recognize such marriages that have taken place overseas.

Same-sex marriage is recognized in at least a dozen European Union countries-including Germany and Malta, which passed legislation previous year. "The European Union protects our rights".

Basically, Wathelet's opinion lays the groundwork for a landmark LGBTQ rights victory that would affect Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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