Lithuania’s top court rejects anti-gay discriminationYAHOO! #Same_SexJanuary 12, 2019
Vilnius (AFP) – Lithuania’s top court ruled on Friday that the Baltic EU state must grant residence permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens even though same-sex unions are not recognised by law.
The practice, it said, was discriminatory and a breach of human dignity.
“The refusal to issue permits cannot be based only on gender identity or sexual orientation,” it said.
Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League, hailed it as “a progressive ruling that sends an important message to our LGBT community and politicians.
“I hope it will lead towards more positive attitude towards gay families,” Simonko told AFP.
The migration department said it would change the practice and start issuing permits for same-sex spouses.
Lithuania’s constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Reacting to the ruling, Lithuania’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference criticised the court for what it said was the introduction of a “new legal category” of same-sex families.
“The postulate that the family concept is gender-neutral is not in line with the teachings of the Church,” it said.
More than two dozen countries worldwide have enacted legislation to allow same-sex union, with the majority of them being in western Europe, according to Pew Research Centre.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to overturn a Texas ruling that raised questions about the rights of couples in same-sex marriages.The controversy arose in June when the Texas Supreme Court revived a lawsuit that sought to eliminate benefits offered to the same-sex spouses of city of Houston employees, ruling that the right to a marriage license did not automatically entitle same-sex couples to spousal insurance be…