Press release: The Coman case can only be the start of further equality for rainbow families

Brussels, 5 June 2020

On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a landmark ruling in the Coman case.[1] In its preliminary ruling, the Court established that, for the purposes of the grant of family reunification rights, same sex-spouses have the right to move together across the internal boundaries of the Union, regardless of different national laws on same-sex marriage. This landmark ruling further recognised the rights of rainbow families when exercising their right to free movement.

Two years after, the Intergroups on LGBTI Rights and Children’s Rights celebrate the decision of the Court and the anniversary of a landmark decision. Nevertheless, they warn that the recognition and protection of rainbow families’ rights must evolve if it is to be comprehensive, in law and in fact.

Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, declared:

Safeguarding the rights of ALL families in the EU is a matter of human rights. The Coman ruling is binding on all member states and the Commission must enforce it. And yet, rainbow families continue to be confronted with Member States unwilling to respect their rights. This begs the question: why hasn’t the Commission proposed legislation to protect the rights of rainbow families in all circumstances – not only family reunification? The only durable solution is a political one, which means proposing and adopting legislation. Rainbow families should not remain tangled up in court cases and complaints to the Commission forever. 

David Lega MEP, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, added:

It is about time the EU ensures that all families in Europe are granted the freedom of movement enshrined in the Treaties and that the best interest of the child is always upheld in all decisions concerning children, without discrimination on the sexual orientation of their parents. Children of LGBTI parents have the right to thrive and reach their full potential across all EU Member States, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Coman case marks a ground-breaking precedent in the EU jurisprudence for same-sex couples. Now, it is essential to ensure that same-sex parents are recognised full parenting rights when moving from one Member State to another and that their legal documents are mutually recognised among Member States, without prejudice to their children. 

[1] Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 5 June 2018, Relu Adrian Coman and Others v Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrări and Ministerul Afacerilor Interne, C-673-16.

Press contacts:

Office of Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP – Leonhard Den Hertog (

Office of David Lega MEP – Emilio Puccio (