The European Parliament has stated that EU member states must respect the rights conferred through same-sex marriages or civil unions when citizens travel from one EU country to another – whether their national laws recognises those partnerships or not.

The Parliament adopted the report despite opposition from representatives from conservative parties.

Co-President of the EU Intergroup on LGBT Rights, Ulrike Lunacek, said the move was a boost for couples who “see their fundamental rights diminished every day when crossing a border inside the EU”.

“It’s a vote for equality- everyone should retain their existing rights when travelling in the EU.”

The vote will not force an immediate change in the law but formal legislation on the issue is expected next year.

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