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Romania Postpones Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage of US Citizen

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.

Clay Hamilton, left, and Adrian Coman, a US-Romanian gay couple who got married in Belgium and seek legal recognition of their status in Romania speak during an interview with the Associated Press in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, July 22, 2016.Vadim Ghirda / AP

BUCHAREST, Romania — 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.

Same-sex relationships are a sensitive issue in Romania, which only decriminalized homosexuality in 2001.

The men's lawyer, Iulian 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.

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