Courts may further rely on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on discrimination against same-sex couples – LGBT activist
However, this decision itself is not a precedent for Ukrainian legal proceedings. This was stated by Ivan Tereshchuk, director of the separate subdivision of the NGO “LGBT Association “Liga” (League), at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Odesa.
In 2014, a gay couple who have been living as family partners since 2010 decided to apply to the European Court of Human Rights because of the inability to legalize their relationship in Ukraine.
The Court found that the applicants had been treated differently from opposite-sex couples due to the lack of any legal recognition and protection for them, and that their sexual orientation was the only reason for the difference in treatment.
The court found that Ukraine had violated Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered that each of the couples be paid EUR 5,000 in compensation for non-pecuniary damage and reimbursed for the lawyers’ fees.
According to Ivan Tereshchuk, director of the separate subdivision of the LGBT Association “Liga”, the ECHR’s definition states that this decision did not impose positive obligations on Ukraine to change legislation.
“This has become a common practice for the ECHR, there have already been such decisions regarding Italy and Romania. In addition, I know of three cases where Ukrainian courts have recognized same-sex cohabitants as members of the same family. And in future practice, the Ukrainian judicial system may rely on this decision of the ECHR,” the activist added.
Vitaliy Matveev, attorney, chairman of the board of the NGO “Prozhektor” (Spotlight), noted that this is the first case in Ukraine when the ECHR recognized discrimination against same-sex couples.
“The discrimination is because same-sex couples cannot register a partnership on the same level as heterosexual couples. They do not have the same rights and guarantees as heterosexual couples. For example, the partner of a fallen soldier does not have access to his body. And this decision is part of our legislation,” the lawyer noted.
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