Recognition of relationships

In this section you find the demands of ILGA-Europe, information on legislation and case-law, public opinion and surveys and external resources on recognition of partnership.

ILGA-Europe works for:

  • The removal of any provisions in marriage legislation that directly or indirectly limit certain couples’ ability to enter into a marriage due to their sexual orientation and/or the gender identity of one or both of the partners.
  • The removal of all discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in national laws governing other forms of legally recognised partnerships including registered partnership and de facto cohabitation.
  • Domestic recognition of all marriages and registered partnerships celebrated in other jurisdictions around the world without distinction or discrimination.
  • The removal of any provisions in other laws or administrative practices that directly or indirectly govern specific rights of families, their children and other family members that may have a disparate negative impact on certain families due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • Compensatory measures should be introduced when the principle of irretroactivity of law perpetrates past unequal treatment based on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The provision of choice in the forms of legal recognition of partnerships that are equally available to all couples without distinction or discrimination.
  • The removal of any remaining restrictions on the right to marry of trans people in compliance with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Goodwin & I v UK (2002).
  • The removal of any obligation on trans people to divorce existing spouses/registered partners as a precondition for legal recognition of their gender identity.
  • Specific consideration of criteria that could hinder the legal recognition of intersex people’s partnerships.
  • The removal of any exclusion or discrimination in the legal definition of family (should such a definition exist) irrespective of civil status and the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the partners.
  • The removal of any remaining cisnormative1 and heteronormative2 linguistic and cultural bias that may be found in law, policies and/or practices which could result in direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • The removal of any symbolic distinctions in the conduction of civil registration/marriage (e.g. place of registration) or ability for public officials to object to registering certain couples on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • Access to international protection and family reunification for third country nationals should be extended to include their spouse, registered partner or unmarried partner.

Legislation and Case-Law

Find information about the situation in the European countries, relevant case-law from the European courts, and about the European Union directive on Free Movement.

Public opinion and surveys

Find surveys and public opinions on a European level here.

External resources on recognition of partnership

In this section, we are gathering external ressources on the topic.

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