A resolution to protect gay couples' succession rights throughout the EU has passed its first reading in the European Parliament.
Drafted by Kurt Lechner MEP, the law was adopted by a wide majority in the European Parliament today (13 March) and gives gay couples equal succession or inheritance rights.
Under this regulation, a Spanish citizen married to an Italian of the same-sex under Spanish law could inherit his or her possessions in Italy, even though Italy does not recognize same-sex marriage.
However, the text does not create any new marriage rights in the European Union, and still allows member states to decide whether or not they recognize same-sex unions on their territory.
Commenting on the resolution, Dennis de Jong MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup in the European Parliament, said: 'Free movement will only become a full reality when all couples can move across the European Union without worrying about their children, their families, their estate, and one another.
'Death is a terrible moment and we must make sure the dignity of same-sex partners is protected, even beyond their life.'
The United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark have opted out of the legislation.