According to Independent European Court of Justice ruled that all EU countries must recognize residency rights of gay spouses:

All European Union countries must recognise the residency rights of same-sex spouses, the EU's top court has ruled.

In a landmark ruling for gay rights in Europe, the European Court of Justice ruled Romania must grant residence to the American husband of a local man even though Romania itself does not permit same-sex marriage.

This suggests that all EU countries much perform some legal changes to obey this ruling. However, the end of the article shows some doubt:

Member states are in charge – but this is a useful clarification in terms of avoiding discrimination.

This opinion poll concerning same-sex marriage in Romania shows a solid majority against it, so any law change touching same-sex relations topic is a sensible manner.

Question: What does ECJ ruling about residency rights of gay spouses actually mean for the EU countries that do not recognize same-sex marriage? Does this mean just changing the law to allow the same residency rights without any other changes or is it more complicated than that?

1 Answer 1


Right now the ruling is narrowly applied to mean residency rights, due to the specific usage of the word "spouse" in the EU bylaws. This does NOT mean that countries have to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad. The individual nation states still have sovereignty over that, but the question of residency relates to EU laws rather than national ones. There is some hope/speculation that this ruling may spill over or be applied in other ways, but for now it is a relatively narrow decision.

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