In a judgment in the joint cases of Vallianatos and Mylonas v. Greece and C.S. and others v. Greece delivered today, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Greece had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by excluding same-sex couples from a “civil union”, restricted in Greece to heterosexual couples. FIDH, ILGA-Europe, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), AIRE-Centre and the Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR) welcome this important decision. The organisations had submitted written comments about the case to the Court in June 2011…
In its decision, the Court ruled that Greece had failed to provide a convincing justification for excluding same-sex couples. The Government’s argument, according to which the law’s main purpose was to protect children of unmarried parents, did not constitute a valid reason, because the law’s real objective was the legal recognition of a new form of family life. Therefore, exclusion of same-sex couples breaches the Convention.
Will Greece follow the ruling?