Bulgaria condemned by the ECHR for refusing to recognize the union abroad of a lesbian couple

During the gay pride in Sofia, June 9, 2018.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned, on Tuesday, September 5, Bulgaria for having refused to recognize the union abroad of a lesbian couple. This decision was welcomed by activists in this European Union country regularly accused by Brussels and Washington of flouting the rights of the LGBT + community.

The Court, which monitors compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights in the 46 member states of the Council of Europe, had been seized by two Bulgarian nationals who married in 2016 in the United Kingdom, where they lived since seven years.

Darina Koilova and Lilly Babulkova, both 37, now live in Sofia. They denounced the Bulgarian authorities’ refusal to include the word “married” in the civil status registers and explained that they could not benefit from the legal protection which they considered to be due to them.

The judges of the ECHR, who sit in Strasbourg, agreed with them and condemned Bulgaria for violating the rights guaranteeing respect for private and family life, enshrined in the Convention (section 8).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Eastern Europe, the gender war is declared

“A step towards justice for our community in Bulgaria”

The Court decided unanimously that its judgment finding this violation constituted in itself sufficient compensation for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the applicants. She asks Bulgaria to pay them 3,000 euros for their legal costs.

“This is a step towards justice for us and our community in Bulgaria”reacted the two complainants, now hoping for a change in legislation to endorse recognition of couples.

“It was only a matter of time”welcomed their lawyer, Me Denitsa Lyubenova, welcoming this first condemnation pronounced by the ECHR against the Balkan country on this subject. “We are now waiting for action from the government”she added, even if little progress is expected in the immediate future, while the proportion of people accepting equal rights for LGBT+ people has fallen by twelve points since 2015. This change in mentality is amplified by the political instrumentalization of these subjects by the power in place.

Contacted by Agence France-Presse, the Bulgarian justice ministry was unable to comment on the decision immediately.

The World App

The Morning of the World

Every morning, find our selection of 20 articles not to be missed

the app

The judgments of the ECHR, which are binding on the States concerned, can lead governments to modify their legislation and their administrative practice. Bulgaria, a former communist country, does not allow marriage or civil union between people of the same sex, as does neighboring Romania, condemned in May by the ECHR which had been seized by 21 couples. She appears at 26e rank of European countries in terms of respect for the rights of LGBT+ people, according to the annual barometer of the International Lesbian and Gay ociation (ILGA).

The World with AFP

Source link

Leave a Reply