The European Union’s top court has ruled in favor of a Romanian gay man’s right to have his American husband live with him in Romania, in a landmark case giving same-sex spouses the same EU residence rights as heterosexual married couples. Romania, which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, had argued that the U.S. citizen was not entitled to the same EU residency rights awarded to spouses, but the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled the term “spouse” was gender neutral. The ECJ ruled Tuesday that member states should recognize gay marriages carried out in other EU states and grant couples the same residency rights of other families. “Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorize marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory,” the court ruled.
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