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The European Court of Justice has ruled that all member states must overlook their same-sex marriage laws by recognizing gay couples married in other territories.
According to last week's case, six former Soviet-bloc countries, which do not recognize same-sex marriage, will now be forced to attribute marriage status to same-sex immigrant couples, if at least one of the partners is an EU citizen.
While the six European Union nations are free not to legalize same-sex marriages or civil unions, the court ruled, they may not "obstruct the freedom of residence of an E.U. citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an E.U. member state, a derived right of residence in their territory."
The decision referred to a lawsuit filed in Romania by Adrian Coman and marks the latest legal precedent in the ever-increasing number of European Union (EU)-imposed regulations that override the sovereign laws of individual nations.
In essence, the six eastern states which decided for themselves not to grant legal recognition to same-sex couples now find their rule of law voided by the European court regarding spousal immigration status.
This recent ECJ ruling significantly reduces the member states' powers to regulate immigration in their countries.
Since its inception in 1993, the EU has progressively grown in size by collecting new member states. The original six states that joined to form the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 have ballooned into the 28 countries that make up the modern EU.
The current conglomerate now adheres to over 40,000 legal acts, which include both suggested directives and mandatory regulations. When additional non-binding acts and international standards are taken into account, there are over 134,000 EU such laws in existence.
According to British House of Commons Library Research Paper 10/62, there has been a general rise in the number of EU measures passed between 1958 and 2010. The BBC has reported that 62 percent of the 945 Parliamentary Acts passed between 1993 and 2014 implemented EU-imposed legislation.
Virtually every source, including the British House of Commons, concedes that it is impossible to determine the exact number of EU regulations in place.
Many individuals, in response to EU overreach, have called for a reduction of the conglomerate's scope of power. The 2016 Brexit vote, which favored UK independence over deference to the EU, represents one of the biggest cases of pushback against the EU expanding grip on its member states' systems of governance.
The rejection of EU overreach exhibited by the Brexit vote was echoed by massive gains by the League party in Sunday's municipal elections in Italy. Last March, some two-thirds of Italian voters opted for anti-establishment parties in national elections.
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