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European law protecting gay succession passes first hurdle

New European law would give gay couples equal succession or inheritance rights
Resolution protecting gay succession rights drafted by Kurt Lechner MEP and adopted by European Parliament

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.

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