Gay Marriage is Not a Human Right. Says European Court of Human Rights

Posted on | March 23, 2012 by Stefano Gennarini, J.D. |

The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage. The European Court of Human Rights repeated this ruling in the case of Gas and Dubois v. France, a judgment decided last week in Strasburg involving a french lesbian couple in a civil union.

The lesbian couple was refused the simple adoption procedure that allows a non-parent spouse to adopt a child of his or her spouse under French law. The French Appeals Court in Versailles decided that simple adoption was only available for married couples. The lesbian couple claimed this was discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and a violation of their right to respect of their family and private life under articles 14 and 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights respectively.

The European Court of Human Rights decided that this was not an instance of discrimination, nor of the violation of the right to respect of one’s family and private life because there is no right to gay marriage under the European Convention for Human Rights, as the court previously decided in Schalk and Kopf v. Austria in 2010.

You can read the decision here (in french), or the press release (also in French) here.



Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.


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