Marriage Equality: In Europe, a Human Right?

I have shown before how marriage equality has been spreading relentlessly across Europe, but in some cases (as in the UK), this takes the form of strong civil unions rather than full marriage. There are also a few countries, notable staunchly Catholic Italy and Poland, which are holding out. This could change.

(Dark blue – full marriage; light blue – civil unions; yellow – legislation in preparation; red – prohibited.)

The European Union has been drawing ever more closely together politically, and in the field of human rights. As some British conservatives have found to their costs, there have been numerous cases where European human rights directives have forced changes in British law. Now, an Austrian couple have taken their fight for the right to marry to the European Court of human Rights. On the face of it, the prospects are good. The court has a good record on LGBT rights, and the parameters are clear: human rights are defined to guarantee both the right to marry, and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of orientation.

“Their European case argues that in refusing them a marriage license, Austria violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantee the rights to marry, protect one’s property and not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.” Read the rest of this entry »