LifeSite News 16 March 2012
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the prohibition of adoption to non-married couples is not discriminatory, because it applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples equally. It has also ruled that homosexual “marriage” is not a right under the European Convention on Human Rights. The decision effectively confirms the liceity under the same Convention of French law, which does not award the status of “marriage” to homosexual couples, and does not permit non-married couples to adopt children.
The ruling was announced yesterday in a suit by a French lesbian couple, Valérie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, who have been in a Pact of Civil Solidarity (PACS) since 2002. A PACS is a loose contractual arrangement made available to both heterosexual and homosexual couples in France, in contrast with stronger “civil union” arrangements and homosexual “marriages” available in some other countries. Dubois conceived a child by artificial insemination through an anonymous donor in 2000, and the couple have been raising the child together. Gas has sought to adopt the child by recourse to various courts, and was ultimately turned down by the country’s highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation. The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed the French court’s decisions.
The Court also ruled that that there is no “indirect discrimination founded (…) on the impossibility of marriage,” because article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights “does not impose on the governments of the state parties the obligation to open marriage to a homosexual couple,” adding that governments “enjoy a certain leeway in determining the exact nature” of legal recognitions of homosexual unions.
The ruling continues the mixed record of the Court on social issues. It has previously ruled that abortion is not a “human right,” and has accepted Italy’s practice of displaying crucifixes in public buildings. However, it has also ruled that suicide is a “human right,” and has attempted to force homosexual inheritance rights on Poland and homosexual parades on Moscow. It has also ruled that Ireland’s constitution permits abortion, an idea rejected by the Irish government.