Monday, 21 November 2011 18:15

Conference On Gay Migration Issues In Europe

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A conference has took place in Strasbourg, France with as subject the migration issues of gay and lesbian couples in Europe.

If you live in Europe, you can move from one country to another freely, you can migrate from one country to another but that becomes complicated when you are lesbian and in a couple because the laws are not the same for every European country even if there exists a directive which says that "the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States."

However, in reality, by changing country, you can have higher costs of living as a couple in some countries, issues with inheritance, pensions and tax purposes, and of course, obtaining a visa for your partner can be very complicated when the country does not allow gay marriage.

A professor of comparative sexual orientation law in the Netherlands, Kees Waaldijk, said these issues are the first results of a survey among legal experts from 30 European countries.

Gabi Calleja, co-chair of the executive board of ILGA-Europe said: "Currently, even the countries which legally recognise same-sex families and their children do not necessarily recognise similar families of same-sex couples from other EU countries. However, all EU countries automatically recognise each other’s different-sex marriages. ILGA-Europe considers this to be a case of direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and calls on the European Commission to remedy such discrimination by introducing legal measures to facilitate the mutual recognition of all civil status documents across the EU."