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News – No right to gay marriage

August 2010

No right to gay marriage

 

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against an Austrian gay couple, declaring that there is no universal right to same-sex marriage.

     According to the Christian Institute, the decision came down in favour of allowing each member state the right to choose whether same-sex marriage was legal or not.

     The decision in June that there was no universal right to same-sex marriage dashed the attempt by a homosexual couple from Austria to reinterpret Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights, so as to force all member states to allow same-sex marriage.

     The right to marry in Article 12 states: ‘Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family’. This could be interpreted as not to exclude same-sex marriage. However, each state had the right to decide whether or not to permit it. But judges stated that there was no consensus on allowing same-sex marriage.

     They stated: ‘There is not yet a majority of states providing for legal recognition of same-sex couples. The area in question must therefore still be regarded as one of evolving rights with no established consensus’.

     According to the Christian Institute, the UK government intervened in the case on the side of Austria, which does not recognise same-sex marriage, and against the same-sex couple.

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