The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights has again ruled that same-sex marriage is not a human right and that European countries are not obligated to ensure gays and lesbians can marry.

The court in 2010 came to the same conclusion but again reiterated this position in regard to a new case concerning a lesbian couple, Valerie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, from France who are in a civil partnership.

Under French law, Gas is not allowed to adopt the child that Dubois gave birth to, after using a sperm donor, because they are not legally married.

The women argued that they are being discriminated against and that France should be forced to give them the right to marry.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg disagreed and said that “the European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage”.

It also said that refusing to allow Gas to adopt the child was not discriminatory as a member of an unmarried heterosexual couple in a civil partnership would also not be allowed to do so.

The court added, however: “Where national legislation recognises registered partnerships between same sex, member states should aim to ensure that their legal status and their rights and obligations are equivalent to those of heterosexual couples in a similar situation.”

The ruling is expected to be used by opponents of same-sex marriage rights to justify their position.

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