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08 maart 2017

Does EU free movement law require the recognition of a same-sex marriage concluded in another Member State?

 Analysis of an important pending ECJ case, by Dr. Alina Tryfonidou: Via Steve Peers



Awaiting the ECJ Judgment in Coman: Towards the Cross-Border Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages in the EU?

Dr Alina Tryfonidou, Associate Professor in EU Law, University of Reading
Photo: Mr Adrian Coman (right) with his spouse, Mr Claibourn Robert Hamilton (left)

Introduction

The legal recognition of same-sex relationships has, in the last couple of decades, become one of the most prominent issues discussed in parliaments, in courts, and in the media, around the world, with views on both sides of the debate being overwhelmingly strong. This is a complicated and sensitive matter which touches on issues relating to human rights, religion, morality, and tradition, as well as on constitutional principles such as equality, autonomy, and human dignity. Despite the fact that there has been research which demonstrates the benefits – especially for young LGB persons – of opening marriage to same-sex couples (see, for instance here), most religions and Churches reject this move and are, even, often vehemently opposed to it, considering homosexuality a ‘sin’, this leading, in turn, to negative societal attitudes towards LGB persons, especially in countries that are deeply religious. The decision to extend legal recognition to same-sex relationships – in countries where this has been made – does not signal the end of the debate, but a number of additional questions emerge once this step is taken: what legal status should be given to same-sex couples? Should they be allowed to adopt children as a couple? Should same-sex couples comprised of two men be allowed to have a child through a surrogacy arrangement? Should same-sex couples comprised of two women be allowed to have a child (as a couple) through medically assisted insemination and, if yes, should the State fund this?

Europe has, until recently, boasted as the most progressive continent regarding the legal recognition of same-sex relationships, with Denmark being the first country in the world to introduce same-sex registered partnerships (in 1989) and the Netherlands being the first country to introduce same-sex marriage (in 2001). In fact, all western EU Member States now make provision for legal recognition of same-sex relationships, and in some of them the law treats same-sex couples in exactly the same way as it treats opposite-sex couples. Yet, the majority of the eastern European countries do not offer legal recognition to same-sex relationships and, in fact, a handful of them have – or have recently introduced – a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (of the EU Member States, these are Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia).

The EU has managed to avoid having to take a clear stance on the issue of the legal recognition of same-sex relationships, considering that this is a matter that falls exclusively within Member State competence. However, what happens when a married couple comprised of persons of the same sex moves between Member States in exercise of EU free movement rights? Must a same-sex marriage entered into in another Member State be recognised by a Member State which does not provide for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships in its territory, when a Union citizen seeks to rely on EU law to claim family reunification rights on his return to that State? The EU judiciary has, now, been called to clarify the EU’s position on this issue in the Coman case (Case C-673/16). The case is pending before the ECJ and the judgment is eagerly awaited by LGBT organisations, lawyers and academics interested in LGBT rights, and married same-sex couples who have, so far, been disappointed by the lack of clarity as regards the protection they enjoy under EU law when exercising their free movement rights.

Lees hier verder/ continue:  http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.nl/2017/03/awaiting-ecj-judgment-in-coman-towards.html




Wellicht is mijn boekenblog ook interessant: http://dutchysbookreviews.blogspot.nl/l


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