European Court of Human Right: Same-Sex Marriage is No Human Right

December 3, 2010

The five-judge panel of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, meeting on 22 November 2010, rejected the referral request relating to the case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria (application no. 30141/04) submitted by the applicants.

The Court’s judgment affirms that Austrian authorities acted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when they refused to allow the marriage of the homosexual couple Schalk and Kopf. The Court’s Chamber judgment of 24 June 2010 has thereby become final (Article 44 of the European Convention on Human Rights).

The case concerned the complaint by a same-sex couple that they were not allowed to contract marriage and did not have any other possibility to have their relationship recognised by law before the entry into force of the Registered Partnership Act in Austria in January 2010. In its Chamber judgment of 24 June 2010, the Court found that Article 12 of the Convention (right to marry) did not impose an obligation on the Austrian Government to grant a same-sex couple access to marriage. It therefore held that there had been no violation of that Article. The Court also found that there had been no violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life).

See press release.