ECHR orders Russian government to legalise same-sex marriages

ECHR orders Russian government to legalise same-sex marriages

13 July 2021

The court in Strasbourg had earlier considered the complaints of three same-sex couples from Russia whose request to get married had been refused.

Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko sent their case to the ECHR, having been unable to marry at the Tver Registry Office in Moscow. Two further same-sex couples also turned to the European court.

The ECHR concluded that Russia must respect the private and family lives of same-sex couples and guarantee their rights in legislation.

One of the founders of the Russian LGBT Network, human rights lawyer Igor Kochetkov, points out that recognition of same-sex marriages does not violate the Constitution in its latest edition. He makes clear that there are no legal obstacles to carrying out this ruling.

“Considering it has adopted legislation on civil partnerships, even if this government only recognises marriage between heterosexual couples, it is still obligated to respect and protect the rights of same-sex couples to a family life and to carry out the ruling of the ECHR,” affirms Kochetkov.

The ECHR likewise refuted the argument put forward by the Russian government that same-sex marriages cannot be recognised because of objections from the majority of Russian people. The court notes that rights for minority groups cannot be dependent on the approval of the majority.

The court order states that the process of same-sex registration is to remain at the discretion of the Russian government. The ruling was published on the ECHR website.


Translated by Rory Connor

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