Ukrainian gay couples will fight for their rights in the European Court on Human rights

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Two homosexual couples from Ukraine filed a complaint to the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) in order to achieve observance of their proprietary rights, – reports Human Rights Information Center

Applicants refer to the decision of ECHR issued on the case of three Italian homosexual couples: the court ruled that the absence of regulations recognizing same-sex unions in the Italian legislation system is a violation of the right to respect for private and family life.

Additionally, according to the applicants, the legislation of Ukraine deprives them of the possibility to register their marriage, because the Article 51 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides that "Marriage is based on the free consent of men and women…", and in accordance with the Paragraph 1 of the Article 21 of the Family Code of Ukraine "Marriage is a family union of a woman and a man".

There is an institution of civil marriage in Ukraine, when a couple in non-registered relationships, however living as a family, on equal terms owns jointly acquired property, has the right to adopt a child and take on the maintenance of a disabled partner. But these rights only have the opposite-sex couples.

One couple of the applicants – Kyiv citizens living together for 5 years so far, the second couple of guys – from Luhansk, being together since 1998, purchased an apartment together, but because of the Russian aggression in the East of Ukraine were forced to leave their home and move to Kyiv. Both couples during the time of their life together have made a number of major purchases and lead common housing, however at the legal level all the property can not belong to both partners because of discriminatory legislation. Therefore, in case of death, illness, or break-up of the problems with the property division may occur. A couple from Luhansk is particularly concerned about this aspect, since not all of their relatives approve of the free choice of men.

"The applicants claim that the difference in rights does not pursue legitimate purposes and is being of discriminatory nature, since it has no objective and reasonable justification. They believe that they are being discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation", – said in the text of the complaint.

"Besides, non-recognition by the state the very fact of the existence of our family brings us the moral sufferings, because in terms of the law we are complete strangers to each other and it allows the society to deny  the importance of our marital relationships, which are very important for us", – noted applicants.

Since Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe, the decision of the ECHR also applies to our country. In the judicial body of the Council of Europe operates precedential principle. It means that the decision made for three Italian couples can be used as an argument when considering other cases.

Автор: Kira Kowalski

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