Countries being told by courts to recognise gay marriage

The European court of justice has been advised that rights of same-sex spouses must be recognised by every member of the EU, even if a country’s government has not authorised gay marriage.

A Belgian advocate general in the Luxembourg court, Melchior Wathelet, said gay spouses had standing in countries even where governments were implacably opposed to same-sex marriage.

A final decision will be delivered in the coming months.

Wathelet’s opinion was given in the case of a Romanian national, Adrian Coman, who wanted to be able to build a life in Romania with his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, with whom he had been living for four years in the US before marrying in Brussels in 2010. Romania prohibits marriage between people of the same sex. It is one of six EU member states, along with Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia, that offer no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that a Latin American human rights court said on Tuesday that countries in the region should legalize same-sex unions, endorsing a growing push for marriage equality.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ decision came in response to a petition submitted two years ago by Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solis, who had vowed to increase rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Same-sex couples can marry in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and some parts of Mexico.