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May 25, 2022

Constitutional Court delays ruling on same-sex marriage recognition petition

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Tuesday delayed for 27 October the ruling on the constitutionality  objection regarding provisions in Romania’s Civil Code that do not recognise same-sex marriages, filed in a process by Relu Adrian Coman, Robert Clabourn Hamilton and the ACCEPT Association.

On July 20, CCR postponed a ruling on the matter, arguing that it needs to scrutinise all the files submitted for the case.

The constitutionality objection refers to Article 277 (2) and (4) in the Civil Code.

Article 277: Interdiction or equating of forms of living together with marriage : “(2) Same sex marriage contracted abroad whether between Romanian citizens or by foreign citizens is not recognised in Romania. (…) (4) Legal provisions regarding free movement in the territory of Romania of citizens from the EU member states and the European Economic Area, are valid.”

Chairman of Romania’s National Council for the Combat of Discrimination (CNCD) Asztalos Csaba said back then that the current legislation violates the right of sexual minorities to have a family by forbidding same-sex marriages, adding that he is in favour of the provisions discriminating against the rights of same-sex couples being ruled unconstitutional.

He mentioned that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has recommended the EU member states to pass legislation protecting the civil rights of sexual minorities.

On the other hand, Relu Adrian Coman claimed that he is not entitled to residence if his marriage registered in Belgium in 2010 is not recognised in Romania.

“We will respect the court’s ruling, irrespective of its content, but hopefully it will be grounded in the Constitution of Romania and international human rights legislation,” said Coman.

“We have decided to address this case on 27 October so we could study the files (…) that present a novelty, a complexity, we must see very carefully the case file the court has sent to us, to read all interventions made by various agencies and NGOs. (…) It is not that simple to decide on a cause bearing a very important media impact and a novelty character, not only to Romania,” the CCR president, Valer Dorneanu said.

He added that all sides in the file will be summoned to the CCR, the parents of a person in the case, living in the USA, included.

“The rescheduling cannot be done but under such circumstances. Nothing has changed, on the contrary. We feel like we need to deepen some verifications and most of all our own conclusions,” added Dorneanu, after the sitting.


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