Lilia Babulkova and her wife, DK, aren’t taking no for an answer from Bulgaria.
The couple, who DK is only going by these initials in the media, were rejected by the registry in the Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city and where the women live, when they attempted to register their marital status on their identification cards, reported Pink News.
The couple wed in the United Kingdom last year.
Same-sex marriage isn’t legal in the Balkan country.
The women took their complaint to the European Union. If the women win their case it could set a precedent for recognition of same-sex marriage by a EU court forcing Bulgaria to recognize the women’s marriage.
“We do not want to provoke anyone, nor do we like it, we just want to have our place that is not swept under the carpet,” Babulkova said during an interview on NovaTV.
The couple’s attorney Denitsa Lyubenova is angling to persuade the court by referencing the Code of Private Law, which governs marriages between Bulgarian citizens that take place in a foreign country.
Lyubenova is a part of Youth LGBT Action, a queer organization in Bulgaria.
“If these requirements are met, such jurisdiction is established and the marriage in question must be recognized in Bulgaria,” Lyeubenova told huge.bg.
She hopes her clients will win their case based on anti-discrimination laws.
“In no case can the Member States restrict the rights of their citizens, despite the limitations in national legislation relating to the right to marry same-sex couples,” she said.
Bulgaria’s neighbor, Romania, is currently facing a similar situation with a case that was taken up by the EU court in November 2017. The court is reviewing a case brought by a Romanian-American gay couple Adrian Coman, a Romanian national, and his husband Clai Hamilton, who is American. The couple tied the knot in Brussels in 2010, but their marriage isn’t recognized in Romania, which is neighbors Bulgaria. They too sued for recognition of their marriage.
Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001. The majority Eastern Orthodox country doesn’t legally recognize same-sex relationships. Romania became a member of the EU in 2007.