Europe's Right to Deny Same-Sex Unions Upheld

Law Firm: Homosexual Lobby Stalled

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STRASBOURG, France, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The European Centre for Law and Justice is lauding the Thursday decision of the European Court of Human Rights that nations should not be forced to accept same-sex unions.



The center, an international law firm focused on protecting human rights and religious freedom, noted the court's decision "that there is no right to marriage for homosexuals under the European Convention of Human Rights."

It ruled that the Austrian government, which did not allow the civil marriage of two men, Horst Michael Schalk and Johann Franz Kopf, was not guilty of discrimination against these men, who brought the accusation against the state.

The center noted in a press release that the decision in the Schalk and Kopf v. Austria case "stalls, for the moment, the efforts of the homosexual lobby at the Council of Europe."

It continued: "For this lobby, this decision was supposed to be the achievement of a very well-organized strategy in order to get from the court of Strasbourg the legal recognition of 'same-sex unions' as a human right guaranteed by the European Convention as part of the right to 'family life.'"

The communiqué stated that several NGOs in the "gay rights lobby" came together to submit "a very detailed memorandum" explaining that "national courts need guidance on this question."

"In other words," the center explained, "that European nations should be forced to accept same-sex marriage."

Members of the center for human rights worked with other groups to present an argument against this forced acceptance.

Victory

The director of the international law firm, Gregor Puppinck, stated: "We take this case as a victory of our long standing efforts.

"The states cannot be bound to accept new obligations that are not in the convention and moreover are contrary to the convention."

The European court ruled that "Article 12 of the European Convention, which guarantees 'men and women' the right to marry, does not impose an obligation on Member States to provide same-sex couples the right to marry."

It also noted that under the convention "there is no current obligation for Member States to provide legal recognition to same-sex couples."

The court stated further that "even when a Member State provides such recognition, as Austria had done, there is no obligation to provide recognition on the same level as marriage." Thus, the center's communiqué concluded, "Austria was permitted to deny same-sex couples the ability to adopt a child, for example."