The European court was unequivocal. It not only said that European human rights law does not contemplate same-sex marriage, it said that civil unions are good enough for same-sex couples.
The court confirmed that the protection of the traditional institution of marriage is a valid state interest—implicitly endorsing the view that relations between persons of the same sex are not identical to marriage between a man and a woman, and may be treated differently in law.
The judgment says that European human rights law recognizes the “fundamental right of a man and woman to marry and to found a family” and “enshrines the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman.”
Let’s hope the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Utah’s case and come to a similar conclusion.
The full ruling from the European Court of Human Rights may be read here.
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