In a landmark decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) -- which hears human rights cases involving its 47 European Union (EU) member countries -- has ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to the legal recognition of same-sex relationships, the Slate website reports today (July 21, 2015).
In the case of Oliari and Others v. Italy, the judges ruled in favor of three same-sex couples who had brought the case against the Italian government, unanimously agreeing that Italy, in failing to make available "a specific legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of same-sex unions," was in violation of Article 8 of the ECHR.
Article 8 of the Convention states that "everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home, and his correspondence."
Same-sex couples in Italy have no legal path to achieve recognition of their relationships, including civil unions or registered partnerships. The ECHR's finding is expected to pressure Italy into giving gay and lesbian couples legal recognition. Most European Union countries already recognize same-sex unions.