The Vice President of the European Commission has said he wants all 28 EU countries to recognise or legalise same-sex marriage.
Speaking at an Equality Gala in Brussels hosted by ILGA-Europe and attended by Executive Director of the national LGBT* rights organization LGL Vladimir Simonko, Dutch politician Frans Timmermans said the ultimate goal was to get all states to “unreservedly” embrace equality.
Currently, the majority of the 28 EU member states continue to ban same-sex marriage – but it is legal in Belgium, France, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Decisions legalising same-sex marriage have also been made in Ireland and Finland, where equality is pending – with Slovenia poised to potentially make a change as well.
Mr Timmermans highlighted the recent issue of same-sex partners wed in one European country losing their rights as a couple and family when they move to another state.
He said: “I believe the Commission should go forward, and try to get all Member States in the EU to unreservedly accept same-sex marriage as other marriages.”
“Even if they don’t have same-sex marriage yet in their own country, to at least to have the decency to respect the decision of other countries to have same sex marriage.
“The fact that when people move to another country they run into all sorts of idiotic problems that married couples who aren’t from the same sex never run into, I think that is a disgrace.”
Equal rights group ILGA-Europe told EU Observer that he was speaking in a personal context as “this is an issue very close to him personally”.