EP Petitions Committee calls for upholding EU rights of rainbow families 

Press Releases 
  • Harmonisation needed for recognition of same-sex marriages and partnerships in the EU 
  • Rainbow families and same-sex couples must enjoy the same freedom of movement and family reunification rights as everyone else 
  • Commission should take action against Romania, Hungary and Poland for rights issues and breaches of EU values 

The EU should lift obstacles that LGBTIQ people still face when exercising their basic rights in the Union, say MEPs.

In a resolution on the rights of LGBTIQ persons in the EU (adopted with 21 votes in favour, 8 against and 4 abstaining), the Committee on Petitions notes with concern that these individuals and families still face discrimination in the EU. They should be able to fully exercise their rights, including free movement, and concrete EU action is needed to remedy the situation, MEPs ask.

MEPs also state that marriages or registered partnerships formed in one member state must be recognised in all of them in a uniform way, and spouses and partners must be treated the same as opposite-sex people would be.

Freedom of movement and rights of families in focus

The committee argues that freedom of movement of LGBTIQ persons cannot be restricted by national laws, such as bans on same-sex marriage. The rights of same-sex couples must be ensured, following the European Court of Justice ruling “Coman & Hamilton”, which found that “spouse” provisions in the Free Movement Directive also apply to same-sex couples. MEPs note that Romania still does not comply with the judgment, and the Commission should take enforcement action against it.

On the subject of rainbow families, the committee urges the acceptance of the adults mentioned in a child’s birth certificate as their legal parents everywhere in EU. More generally, rainbow families must have the same right to family reunification as opposite-sex couples and their families, say MEPs. Couples should benefit from continuity of treatment when moving from one member state to another, and it is important that children do not become stateless when their family moves between member states.

MEPs finally note the discrimination faced by the LGBTIQ community in Poland and Hungary. To address it, the Commission should urge these member states to respect relevant EU legislation, and continue discussions about Article 7 proceedings against these two member states. The Commission should also use expedited infringement procedures, applications for interim measures before the Court of Justice, and budgetary tools to address clear breaches of EU values in Poland and Hungary.

Next steps

The short motion for resolution will now be tabled for the September plenary of the European Parliament.