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Court rules Romania discriminates against same-sex couples

Court rules Romania discriminates against same-sex couples

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on Tuesday that the Romanian state is breaching article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life – by not allowing same-sex couples to marry or register civil partnerships.

“The court observes that Romanian law provides for only one form of family union – an opposite-sex marriage and does not provide for legal recognition for same-sex couples,” said the ruling.

The ruling came in response to a case brought against the Romanian state by the ACCEPT association, which fights for the rights of the LGBT community, on behalf of 21 same-sex Romanian couples.

The ECHR observed that the Romanian state did not tell the court that it has “any intention to amend its domestic law to allow same-sex couples to enjoy official recognition and a legal regime offering protection”.

“On the contrary, several attempts to pass legislation in this field (coming from a few members of the parliament) have not received the support of the parliament or the government,” the judges said.

After the decision, the president of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, CNCD, Csaba Asztalos, said that Romania should adopt legislation to protect the rights of same-sex couples.

“The solution would be to adopt a civil partnership law, which in my opinion, should also apply to heterosexual couples, not only to those formed by people of the same sex,” Csaba Asztalos told Hotnews.ro.

However, he added that ECHR’s decision does not extend to the possibility of adoption by same-sex couples in Romania.

In July 2018, the Constitutional Court of Romania ruled that the Romanian state must recognise the right of residence in Romania of same-sex married people if one of the members of the couple is an EU citizen.

However, legislators have not yet changed anything to address the ruling, which could result in sanctions being imposed by the Council of Europe for a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source: Balkan Insight