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Gay couple wins discrimination case against Ukraine. This is the first precedent of its kind

Citing an official document, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union reported that the European Court of Human Rights concluded that the Ukrainian government had violated the rights of same-sex couples. Ukrainian gay couple who cannot legally marry sued the state

Andrii Maimulakhin and Andrii Markiv have been living together as partners since 2010. In 2014, the couple applied to the European court due to being unable to legalize their relationship officially, like different-sex couples do.

During the case, the court stated that «the applicants have neither access to marriage in Ukraine nor the opportunity to receive any alternative form of legal recognition» unlike heterosexual couples, who prefer not to marry for personal reasons, but «still have the right to legal recognition and protection».

The ECHR ruling also stated that the applicants had no way to «regulate the basic aspects of their lives as spouses», except for certain property issues. In the latter case, same-sex couples can make a contract with each other as private individuals «under civil law» for the distribution of property — the court specified that such documents «have a limited scope and do not provide some of the basic needs that are fundamental to regulating the relationship between spouses».

In conclusion, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ukraine had violated article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Each of the applicants was awarded 5,000 EUR in compensation for «discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation».

The ECHR also drew attention to the fact that Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe, and its member states are increasingly recognizing same-sex couples legally and providing them with the necessary protection. Currently, 30 of the 46 member countries of the Council of Europe provide for legal recognition of same-sex couples.

In March, a draft law on the registration of same-sex couples in Ukraine was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. If it is passed, same-sex couples in Ukraine will also be able to enter into partnership.

After the full-blown war began, the importance of implementing registered partnerships was noted by LGBT activists and organizations.


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