Religion Clause: European Court Says Russia Violated Convention In Refusing To Register Same-Sex Unions

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

European Court Says Russia Violated Convention In Refusing To Register Same-Sex Unions In Fedotova and Others v. Russia, (ECHR, July 13, 2021), the European Court of Human Rights in a Chamber Judgment held that Russia violated Article 8 (Respect For Private and Family Life) of the European Convention on Human Rights when it refused to register the marriage of same-sex couples. The Court said in part: 49.  … Article 8 … does not explicitly impose … an obligation to formally acknowledge same-sex unions. However, it implies the need for striking a fair balance between the competing interests of same-sex couples and of the community as a whole…. 54.  The Court notes that the protection of “traditional marriage” stipulated by the amendments to the Russian Constitution in 2020 … is in principle weighty and legitimate interest, which may have positive effect in strengthening family unions. The Court, however, cannot discern any risks for traditional marriage which the formal acknowledgment of same-sex unions may involve, since it does not prevent different-sex couples from entering marriage, or enjoying the benefits which the marriage gives…. 56.  … [T]he respondent Government have a margin of appreciation to choose the most appropriate form of registration of same-sex unions taking into account its specific social and cultural context (for example, civil partnership, civil union, or civil solidarity act). In the present case they have overstepped that margin, because no legal framework capable of protecting the applicants’ relationships as same-sex couples has been available under domestic law. According to Euronews, Russian authorities have rejected the Court’s judgment, saying that the Court is meddling in the country’s internal affairs. 

Religion Clause: European Court Says Russia Violated Convention In Refusing To Register Same-Sex Unions

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