ROMANIA: Constitutional Court To Consult With European Court Of Justice On Same-Sex Marriage Case

NBC News reports:

Romania’s constitutional court said Tuesday it would consult with a European court regarding the case of a same-sex couple who want their marriage abroad to be legally recognized in Romania. Court president Valer Dorneanu said he was seeking information from the European Court of Justice to see how other EU countries where same-sex marriages are not legal handled similar cases. The court set the next hearing for March 30.

Adrian Coman, a Romanian gay rights activist, wants the court to rule that his 2010 marriage in Belgium to U.S. citizen Claibourn Robert Hamilton, is legal in the way it would be if they were a heterosexual couple. The way it stands, Hamilton would not benefit from legal protection as Coman’s spouse if they settled in Romania. The couple live in New York.

A Lawyer for the two men, Iustina Ionescu, told The Associated Press: “This is encouraging. … The court is giving the message that Romania is a member of the European countries that share common values, such as the free movement of people together with their families.”

With the help of the Liberty Counsel, Romania’s Eastern Orthodox Church has submitted three million petitions calling for a national referendum to place a ban on same-sex marriage in the national constitution. Last week the Liberty Counsel submitted a court brief in support of the referendum.

  • JT

    Good news, despite Libbatee Konsul’s efforts to export hatred and christofascism throughout the world.

    • ChrisMorley

      It looks really hopeful. The EU Law Analysis blog has a post on Same-Sex Marriage: The EU is Lagging Behind
      by Alina Tryfonidou, Associate Professor in EU Law, School of Law, University of Reading, England

      She says in her conclusion
      ‘As things stand, it is clear that the EU cannot require Member States to open marriage to same-sex couples.
      Nonetheless, a number of EU law provisions appear to require Member States to recognise same-sex marriages lawfully entered into in the territory of another Member State. Accordingly, Union citizens who move to another Member State should be allowed to be accompanied or joined there by their same-sex spouse and should be treated as ‘spouses’, once they are admitted into the territory of the host State.
      Accordingly, the EU can no longer stand idle, turning a blind eye to the violation by some Member States of the fundamental rights of a segment of the EU population (i.e. the LGB population). The ECJ (when given the
      opportunity) and the EU legislature, should make it clear that EU Member States are required by EU law to recognise the same-sex marriages of mobile Union citizens, just as they do in situations involving Union citizens who are married to an opposite-sex partner.’

      However this particular couple who married in Belgium live in New York and haven’t said they plan to move to Romania.

      The law professor argues the case like this:
      ‘The refusal of the host Member State to recognise same-sex marriages contracted in other Member States of the EU is, also, in breach of fundamental (human) rights that are protected under the Charter [EU Charter of Fundamental Rights] and/or as general principles of EU law.

      Article 21(1) of the Charter, provides that ‘Any discrimination based on any ground such as … sexual orientation shall be prohibited’. Since all Member States automatically recognise (opposite-sex) marriages contracted in other Member States, a refusal to recognise same-sex marriages, amounts to (direct) discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. In its Article 51(1), the Charter provides that its provisions are addressed ‘to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law’. Recent ECJ rulings have interpreted this broadly, by noting that ‘The applicability of European Union law entails applicability of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter’ (Fransson). Accordingly, it would seem that situations which involve measures that lead to an obstacle to the exercise of EU free movement rights can fall within the scope of the Charter.

      Union citizens can, therefore, rely on Article 21 of the Charter in order to
      require the Member State to which they move to recognise their same-sex
      marriage and to admit them within its territory and treat them as a married
      couple. Of course, Member States may wish to try to justify … differential treatment (e.g. on the need to protect the traditional notion of marriage as a union between a man and a woman), but given that – as made clear in the ECHR context [European Convention on Human Rights – which is NOT dealt with by this court] – only ‘particularly serious reasons’ can justify discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation (Dudgeon v. United Kingdom; Smith & Grady v. United Kingdom; Karner v. Austria), they will be faced with an uphill struggle, and, in practice, it is unlikely that they will be able to successfully rely on a justification.’

  • PickyPecker
    • JCF

      You got that right. Here’s a BEAUTIFUL example that was on TV on Monday:

      “Supergirl”: SG’s sister Alex Danvers (just came out!) w/ gf Maggie Sawyer. Le sigh… <3<3

      It's still 2016 people, and there are SOME things Drumpf CANNOT take away!!!

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  • NancyP

    I might also note that the Romanian conservatives would oppose this marriage if it were heterosexual – because interracial.

  • Gene

    I have actually been there, Romania I mean.
    there is a lot to see..superficially friendly people…etc.
    while there, as an American, I got a lot of questions…one of them, sadly, from several people; in English (I speak no Romanian) I was asked, usually after 10 minutes or more of conversation (many there speak pretty decent English, its the tail end of Europe, but its Europe) a variation on “so..tell me you know many [email protected]@3&s”. or “have you ever been robbed/attacked by a [email protected]@3&?”…I can remember 4 distinct times, by 4 people, this happened. only two of them knew each other. my response…after the blood came back to my face and I could speak, “thats..NOT an acceptable, polite or even decent word for black people. Please done say that”…was met was offended shock on THEIR parts. They knew what it meant..and how it was used.

    The word, and the racism (god/fsm.gaia knows why, they have few if any Africans citizens, and I saw no persons of such ancestry while there) is EVERYWHERE. Anti Jewish questions (2 while on that trip) and 3 anti gay ones (they just assumed I am hetero..its was..well…scary). I was only there 4 days.

    I have spent a LOT of time in Turkey, a good deal in Russia (if anyone remembers, my God son and his parents are OUT, having been able to leave St. Pete for Sweden! sooo happy about that) and, of all the nations I have visited, ONLY Egypt is more full of prejudice and hatred than Romania. I ADMIRE the bravery of this couple. I really do, and wish them all the best. that said, while I admire them fighting for the right to be there as a couple, I hope they make the point, win, stay a while, then get the hell out of dodge!

  • boatboy_srq

    This is very good news.

  • Nic Peterson

    Not a bad move for a country that emerged from the Eastern Bloc, overthrew Ceausescu, tried and executed him for crimes against his people which included genocide by starvation — in late ’89. Let’s hope that they see the wise ways of allowing the free movement of families and equal treatment.

  • JCF

    Aw, they’re So Kewt! <3<3