BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's Constitutional Court on Tuesday again postponed ruling on a petition to recognize the same-sex marriage of a U.S. citizen and a Romanian man.
Romania currently does not recognize same-sex marriages or relationships amid opposition from the conservative Romanian Orthodox Church.
The delay was the second time the court has put off ruling on the marriage of Claibourn Robert Hamilton, an American graphic designer and Adrian Coman, a rights activist.
The couple married six years ago in Belgium, where same-sex marriages are legal, and live in the United States.
They launched a legal fight to get their marriage sanctioned in Romania in 2012 after their plans to relocate for work and ultimately retire there were shelved due to a refusal by immigration authorities to recognize their union.
The nine-member court, which requires a majority to issue a ruling, rescheduled the men's case for Oct. 27. In July, it also postponed a ruling, saying it needed more time to digest the arguments.
Coman called the delay "frustrating," adding he appreciated that the judges were studying the issue carefully. He called on Parliament to adopt a civil partnership law so his husband would have the right to live in Romania.
"Nobody else's rights are infringed upon if Clai gets residence in Romania, or if he can talk to a doctor as my spouse if I am in the emergency room in Bucharest" Coman said.
Same-sex relationships are a sensitive issue in Romania, which only decriminalized homosexuality in 2001.
The men's lawyer, Iustina Ionescu, told The Associated Press the court should recognize that Romania's Constitution guarantees a right to privacy and family life for all citizens "without letting itself be influenced by social or political groups that are pleading against equal rights for LGBT persons."
A spokesman for a group that opposes same-same marriages said Monday that recognizing the couple's marriage would "traumatize" Romanian society.
"We are a Christian country... and we accept traditional families as they are defined in the Bible," Alliance of Romanian Families spokesman David Tut said.
This story has been correction to show that the first name of the couple's lawyer is Iustina, not Iulian.