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Europe rights court orders Russia to legalize same-sex unions

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Tuesday ordered Russia to recognize same-sex unions. The ruling came in response to an appeal by three gay couples who were denied the ability to marry by Russian authorities. It remains to be seen whether Russia will implement the court’s ruling.

A bench of 17 judges presided over the proceedings. Twelve of the justices joined the court’s judgment while two partially dissented and three fully dissented.

Court President Judge Síofra O’Leary wrote in the judgment that Russian authorities’ conduct violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which reads:

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

In June 2010, the Strasbourg-based court ruled that the Convention allows for same-sex marriages but does not require states to perform them. While Tuesday’s ruling maintains that states are not required to recognize same-sex unions “in the form of marriages,” they still have to provide couples with a path to legal recognition.

The Russian government submitted that it was too early for the country to recognize same-sex unions as Russian society was not ready. In response, the Grand Chamber opined that the “Convention is a living instrument which must be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions and of the ideas prevailing in democratic States today”.

Russia has strict laws restricting the dissemination of so-called “LGBT propaganda.” These laws make it a crime to distribute information about LGBT relationships to children and to engage in some pro-LGBT speech. Russia previously ignored a 2013 ECHR ruling against these laws.

Currently, 30 out of the 46 member states of Council of Europe legally recognize same-sex unions. The remaining 16 include – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Türkiye and Ukraine.

Article: Europe rights court orders Russia to legalize same-sex unions

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(UN General Assembly, 1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1. All human beings are free and equal 2. No discrimination 3. Right to life 4. No slavery 5. No torture and inhuman treatment 6. Same right to use law 7. Equal before the law 8. Right to be treated fair by court 9. No unfair detainment 10. Right to trial 11. Innocent until proved guilty 12. Right to privacy 13. Freedom to movement and residence 14. Right to asylum 15. Right to nationality 16. Rights to marry and have family 17. Right to own things 18. Freedom of thought and religion 19. Freedom of opinion and expression 20. Right to assemble 21. Right to democracy 22. Right to social security 23. Right to work 24. Right to rest and holiday 25. Right of social service 26. Right to education 27. Right of cultural and art 28. Freedom around the world 29. Subject to law 30. Human rights can’t be taken away