Romanian court hears case on recognizing same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – A Romanian man asked his country’s Constitutional Court Oct. 27 to recognize his marriage to an American man, in a case that has pitted the nation’s conservative majority against those who want to move into the European mainstream.

Adrian Coman, a Romanian gay rights activist, wants the court to rule that his 2010 marriage in Belgium to U.S. citizen Claibourn Robert Hamilton is legal in the way it would be if the couple was not the same sex.

“Our values are no different from any other family in Romania,” Coman said:

In an unusual move, court president Valer Dorneanu thanked Coman for his sincere remarks. He and Hamilton live in the U.S. and took legal action to get their union recognized in Romania in 2012.

But opposition to same-sex relationships is often fierce in Romania, where homosexuality was decriminalized in 2002.

Religious groups want the national Constitution amended to define marriage as only the union of a man and a woman. Nearly 3 million people have signed a petition demanding a referendum to change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a consensual act between spouses.

“It is hard to build a harmonious society. It’s hard to teach people not to be exclusivists,” Mircea Toma, chairman of the press freedom group ActiveWatch, said.

President Klaus Iohannis recently voiced his support for same-sex couples and warned of “religious fanaticism.” Political leaders and some Romanians criticized his outspoken stance.

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