Gay Travel Blog

This couple is about to win rights for all same-sex partners in Europe


Adrian and Clai's relationship could get recognition everywhere in Europe thanks to a top judge's ruling – and so could yours.

One of Europe’s most senior judges has ruled that the definition of spouses does include same-sex couples.

It comes after married couple Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton took the European Union to court in a rare grand chamber case calling for their relationship to be recognized – regardless of borders.

But, the Court of the Justice of the European Union (CJEU) still needs to adopt today’s ruling from the Advocate General.

However, the positive opinion from the Advocate General that the definition does extend to same-sex couples, means the CJEU is likely to rule in Coman and Hamilton’s favor.

Teodora from ACCEPT the Romanian LGBT advocacy group, who is representing the couple, explains the significance of today’s ruling:

‘Usually, the decisions of the court follow the opinion of the Advocate General. This opinion is indeed amazing, offering us all of what we requested,’ Teodora tells Gay Star News.

‘Having spouses as an autonomous concept at the level of the EU opens the door for wonderful potential cases for equality, and goes beyond what many other member states currently offer. It would ensure the effective protection of same-sex couples moving across borders.’

However, today’s ruling does not mean all member states will have to grant immediate protection to national same-sex couples.

The official ruling states:

‘Although Member States are free to authorize marriage between persons of the same sex or not, they may not impede the freedom of residence of an EU 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.’

Currently, 22 out of 28 European union states already offer civil partnership or marriage for same-sex couples.

But, the impact of the decision will change the right to same-sex spouses in the countries who don’t already give same-sex couples this right.

Moreover, if the ruling goes Coman and Hamilton’s way – Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Latvia would have to recognize gay couples freedom of movement rights.