EU court backs residency rights for gay couple in Romania

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled that a gay Romanian-American couple is entitled to the same residency rights as other married couples in the European Union.

Romanian Adrian Coman and his American husband, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, have fought a six-year legal battle to get their marriage legally recognized in Romania.

The court ruled that EU members "may not obstruct the freedom of residence" of EU citizens by refusing to grant residence for the same-sex spouse. However, members retain "the freedom whether or not to authorize marriage between persons of the same sex."

The ruling has implications for tens of thousands of same-sex couples in Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia, which do not currently offer legal protection to same-sex couples.