ECHR Finds No Human Right to Same-sex Marriage

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not require nations to recognize same-sex marriage.  

This is a significant decision, and could have a major impact as our Supreme Court is expected to take up a marriage case in the coming term, and several Justices look to emerging trends in international law in forming their jurisprudence.

The case arises from a Finnish law that restricts marriage to one man and one woman.  When a married man had sexual reassignment surgery to become female, Finland declined his attempt to change his legal status to female as a violation of their national domestic relations law on the definition of marriage.  On appeal to the European Court of Human Rights the marriage law of Finland was under review. The Court held by a 14-3 vote that under the European Convention on Human Rights, no country is required to recognize same-sex marriage, affirming an earlier similar decision.

One reason the European Court said it reached its decision was based on the fact that there is no ‘European consensus’ regarding same-sex marriage.  Ten countries recognize it, while 37 European nations do not, and the Court concluded that the debate should continue, rather than for it to impose a standard on all 47 nations in Europe. This is a ground-breaking decision from Europe that has largely escaped the notice of the mainstream media. Read more about it at www.LifesiteNews.com "European Court: Gay Marriage is Not a Human Right," or at www.Breitbart.com "European Court Says No Right to Same-Sex Marriage."

This decision supports an international position that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right.  The Supreme Court of the United States would be wise to follow the ECHR lead not try to impose a fifty-state solution on the American people.  To read more about why this is good policy nationally read about how federalism works in the context of marriage law at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2462093, and how state domestic relations law on marriage can strengthen states and societies at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2427462.  To learn more about how expanding the definition of marriage affects and impacts marriage read http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=269418.  
Families are strengthened and restored by stable marriage law, in Europe, in the United States, and around the world.

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