Same sex marriage is not legal in Romania, so now the Romanian constitutional court is trying to determine how to handle Romanian same sex couples who marry in another European country and want to settle in Romania. Romania is now consulting with the European Court of Justice to help them figure out the appropriate response.
In 2010, a Romanian man married a U.S. citizen in Belgium. The gay couple currently live in the U.S., but if they moved back to Romania, the American spouse would not receive any legal benefits or protections from his Romanian spouse. As a result, the Romanian court was asked to rule on the gay marriage, which would then have far reaching implications on so many others.
Court president Valer Dorneanu said he was seeking information from the European Court of Justice to see how other EU countries where gay marriage is illegal handle similar cases. The court set the next hearing for March 30th.
The couples’ attorney explained: “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.”
However, opposition to same-sex relationships is often fierce in Romania, where homosexuality was only decriminalized in 2002.
Religious groups want the constitution amended to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Nearly 3 million people have signed a petition demanding a referendum to change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a consensual act between spouses.
Have you followed us on Facebook and Twitter?