A same-sex couple has won their two-year legal battle to gain recognition of their marriage in a first for Bulgaria.
Australian-born Cristina Palma met her French partner Mariama Dialo in Sydney 16 years ago. In 2016, the couple legally wed in France.
The pair were initially permitted to live, work and travel in Bulgaria and the European Union, on the basis that she Palma was married to an EU citizen.
But Bulgaria denied the couple those rights in 2017, arguing that same-sex marriage was illegal in the country.
The European country is also one of the few countries in the EU that previously did not recognise same-sex unions.
The couple challenged the decision and last June was handed a win in court. But the Bulgarian government appealed earlier this year.
But on Wednesday, the Administrative Court in Bulgaria granted the couple their same-sex marriage recognition, the Associated Press reported.
‘All married couples must have the same rights’
The couple said last year despite the media attention they considered their legal battle very important.
“Not only for us, but because it creates a precedent to all those same-sex married couples whose partner is not a EU citizen,” they said.
“They must have the same rights to mobility as heterosexual couples do.
“One can only feel a sense of pride and victory when [one] has managed to break through the walls of intolerance.”
View this post on Instagram
Днес, 24 юли, Върховният административен съд призна правото на Кристина Палма и нейната съпруга Мариама Диало да живеят и пребивават на територията на Република България, упражнявайки правото на свободно придвижване в Европейския съюз, валидно за всички граждани на Съюза и членовете на техните семейства. Поздравления за Кристина и Мариама, и за всички, които се бориха за тази победа! 🎉🏳️🌈 #lgbtrights #loveislove
QN Magazine | For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.