AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

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AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

III. Development of sexual orientation related anti-discrimination…following example indicates how difficult it can be if persons want tolive together with their partners having a foreign citizenship, especiallyin the case of same-sex partners.A same-sex male couple has been living together in Hungary forthree years. One of them is a Hungarian, the other is a Romaniancitizen. They participated in the “Let’s start a family” programme ofHáttér Support Society and made a private life partnership contractwith each other. After three years of uninterrupted official stay in Hungary,the man with Romanian citizenship applied for a residence permit:he had a work permit, he had a job and he had a regular incomeexceeding the Hungarian minimal wage. The Hungarian partnerdeclared in a notarised document the he would provide his partner withfree accommodation and any necessary financial – or other type of –support. In order to prove that he was capable of providing this support,the Hungarian partner presented a portfolio worth ten million HUF atthe court. However, the Romanian partner’s application for a Hungarianresidence permit was rejected by the Hungarian Immigration Office.The main problem with the application was that the HungarianImmigration Act does not acknowledge one’s cohabiting partner to be afamily member as opposed to one’s spouse. According to the law: in thecourse of applying for a residence permit an official declarationprovided by a family member for proving that you have subsistence andaccommodation is “especially” appropriate.In this case the legal problem was that if the Immigration Act legallyacknowledged a same-sex partner to be a family member, he would havebeen able to receive the necessary permission without any difficulty – asin fact otherwise everything was in order. But as this is not the case inHungary, the Immigration Office did not accept the declaration of theHungarian same-sex partner as he was not considered to be a “properfamily member”. In the second degree procedure, the ImmigrationOffice has already accepted the fact that one partner can provide theother with free accommodation – as at this time their private lifepartnership contract was attached as an official document. However,there were still some problems with the necessary subsistence level.At this point the Legal Aid Service of Háttér Support Society, whichrepresented the same-sex couple legally, had two possibilities: First, itcould be argued that the disadvantageous discrimination betweenpartners and family members in this context was unconstitutional.However, applying this approach would not promise a practical solution55

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