A new ruling by the European Court of Justice has been announced which would require all EU member states to recognise the rights of same sex couples.
The gay couple, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, challenged the decision of Romanian authorities.
Once the ECJ has made its decision, the case will return to Romanian court.
The official opinion of the advocate general - the highest officers of the court who advise judges on how to rule on complex cases - will now be considered by a panel of ECJ judges. The country does not recognize any form of legal union between those of the same gender. He explained that European Union law was neutral on the gender of a spouse.More news: Intel & Micron To Go Their Separate Ways On NAND Development
A press release [PDF] from the ECJ states "the legal issue at the centre of the dispute is not that of the legalization of same-sex marriage, but that of the free movement of European Union citizens".
He noted that "the directive makes no reference to member state law in order to determine the nature of "spouse", even though that concept must be interpreted autonomously and uniformly throughout the EU".
According to Wathelet, the term "spouse" includes, in the light of the freedom of residence of citizens of the European Union and their family members, spouses of the same sex.
The case involves a Romanian male national who had married a man from the United States in Brussels in 2010.More news: Starc likely to return in Sydney
The ECJ's judgment when it comes could have wider repercussions for the range of benefits and rights that may be claimed by those in same-sex marriages by ensuring that the term spouse is gender neutral in law.
Romania prohibits marriage between people of the same sex.
It was his opinion that "in view of the general evolution of the societies of the member states of the EU in the last decade in the area of authorisation of same-sex marriage" it was no longer appropriate to follow the case law definition of marriage as "a union between two persons of the opposite sex".
Sophie in 't Veld, vice president of the Liberal group in the European Parliament and vice president of the European Parliament's LGBTI Intergroup, said: "This is fantastic news and a landmark opinion for rainbow families". In its conclusions, known this Thursday, community lawyer opens door to a greater protection of rights of homosexual marriages in countries where it is not legalized.More news: Manu Ginobili's made 3-pointer on attempted pass confuses all
If the ECJ does rule in the couple's favour it would pave the way for legal recognition of same-sex marriages to be expanded across Europe.