In a historic moment for the country of Lithuania, top court ruled that the Baltic state must grant residency permits to foreign spouses of gay citizens reports AFP. Even though same-sex unions are still not recognized by law, this is an important moment ruling for the majority Catholic country. Lithuania is home to over 2.8 million residents.
Head of the Lithuanian Gay League, Vladimir Simonko, said to the AFP:
This is 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.
Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Lithuania in 1993
The Catholic church was not pleased with the ruling and has stated:
The postulate that the family concept is gender-neutral is not in line with the teachings of the Church. Marriage is the basis of the family and it is concluded upon the free mutual consent of a man and woman.
Lithuania’s immigration department will have to begin issuing permits for same-sex spouses of Lithuanian residents.