Cyprus Mail

Accept says ECHR ruling on civil unions has implications for Cyprus

Accept-LGBT Cyprus on Friday  welcomed a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously which ruled that the failure of Italy to provide any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, violated Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights in regards to the right to respect private and family life.

“This is a ground-breaking judgment not just for Italy, but for all of Europe as this is the first time the ECHR has recognised the right of same-sex unions to be legally recognised, both in the context of private as well as family life,” the organisation said in a statement.

It added that the ECHR held that cohabitation agreements did not offer the necessary recognition and protection to couples, something Accept said was relevant to Cyprus.

It said that during discussions at parliament MPs had wrongly adopted the term co-habitation Agreement’  for the new Cyprus law.

“Despite the subsequent name change to “Civil Co-habitation”, following the agreement of both the Legal Service and the Cyprus Bar Association, the name is still not right based on the ruling of the ECHR regarding what is co-habitation,” Accept said, adding that the terminology used should reflect international norms such as for example ‘Civil Union’” in order to avoid any legal obstacles in the representation of the Cypriot document internationally.

Accept called on parliament to proceed immediately with the voting of the Civil Union Bill in the correct spirit in which it was submitted to the House by the ministry of interior in May.

Two weeks ago some MP’s pushed for changes into the text before this was put up for a vote prior to summer recess which, according to Accept, radically altered the philosophy of the bill to leave out recognition of the right to family or private life for same-sex couples.

“This is clearly not accepted by the ECHR anymore,” Accept said.


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