European states cannot be forced to redefine marriage says human rights court


The European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has this week ruled that refusing to recognise same-sex marriages does not violate The European Convention on Human Rights.

In a ruling made in July 16th the court said that a nation of Europe cannot be made to redefine marriage in the case of same-sex couples and those in which one or more partners undergo a sex change during their marriage.

The case was brought to the court by a Finnish citizen after her country refused to recognise her sex change from male to female in 2009.

Finland does not currently recognise same-sex marriages and the country has said it cannot recognise the sex change of an individual still married to an opposite sex partner. In the case of the anonymous woman Finland would not recognise sex-change unless her marriage was dissolved through divorced or registered as a civil partnership.

The applicant has claimed that a refusal to accept her identity or marital status is a violation of human rights, though the court ruled that the decision by Finland does not violate European laws.

Although several states in the European Union have progressive views on LGBTI issues such as this there is currently no law making the recognition of same-sex marriage or sex-changes mandatory for membership of the EU.



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