Comprehensive study on the acceptance of same-sex relationships
Uglobal published very informative article about the worldwide recognition (or the lack of it) of same-sex relationships, when it comes to immigration (residence permit and citizenship).
It appears that not all countries apply the same standards, although the European legislation is gradually harmonizing an overall acceptance of the same-sex relationships in the processes of obtaining residence permit and citizenship.
Same-sex relationship and residence permit in Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Constitution states that:
The marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman. Only the civil marriage is legal.Art. 46. (1)
From the constitutional text, it appears that a marriage can not be substituted by a same-sex relationship. First, the Constitution says that by a couple it is meant a man and a woman. Secondly, it states, that the relationship should be in form of civil marriage.
The legislation of the EU
The EU legislation however has somewhat different approach when it comes to same-sex relationships. It contradicts the Bulgarian legislation and should be applied accordingly. In light of all this, there is already a precedent where the Court has ruled that Bulgaria should accept same-sex couples on equal terms as married heterosexual couples.