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Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights ruled that governments must provide legal protection for same-sex couples in all EU countries that have signed the European Convention on Human Rights. Currently only 24 of the 47 member states that have signed the convention have civil union or marriage for same-sex couples.
President of Freedom to Marry Evan Wolfson yesterday said,
‘Today’s ruling affirms that gay people may not be denied the basic human right to form families and requires that all signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights treat their committed relationships with respect and protection under the law. It immediately raises the bar in countries that currently provide no legal recognition for same-sex partners, and also brings Europe another big step closer to the freedom to marry continent-wide. By talking neighbor to neighbor about who gay people are and why marriage matters, as we did here and our counterparts have done across Europe, from the Netherlands in 2001 to Ireland in May, we will see a critical mass of European states with the freedom to marry and the realization of full equality for hundreds of millions.’