When drawing our Marriage Map, we relied on information collected from various sides. But upon verifying the situation ourselves, we have found that the situation is better than we thought. Regarding the situation in Belarus, see the preceding post. But there are still two more countries whose constitutional laws define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
The Constitution of Azerbaijan has the following provision:
Article 34. Right for marriage
I. Everyone has the right to marry on reaching the age specified by legislation.
II. Marriages shall be concluded voluntarily. Nobody should be forced into marriage.
III. Family and marriage are protected by state. Maternity, paternity and childhood are protected by the law. The state provides support to large families.
IV. Rights of wife and husband are equal. Care and education of children constitute both right and responsibility of parents.
V. Responsibility of children is to respect parents, look after them. Children who are of age (18) and capable of working must support disabled parents.
The reference to the equal rights of wife and husband implies that it is necessary for a marriage that there be a wife and a husband. Very clearly, therefore, in Azerbaijan marriage is constitutionally defined as between a man and a woman.
Even clearer is the situation in Armenia:
The family is the natural and fundamental cell of the society.
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and found a family according to their free will. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and divorse.
Dismissal for reasons connected with maternity is prohibited. Everyone woman-employee shall, in case of pregnancy and childbirth, have the right to paid maternity leave and parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
It is important to include these two countries into our Marriage Map, given that they both are Members of the Council of Europe. As such, they have no less weight than Ireland or Belgium. By contrast, we have decided to remove the reference to Kazakhstan, which is not a CoE Member State.
The match between countries whose constitutional law explicitly defines marriage as between a man and a woman and countries whose constitution explicitly recognizes same-sex “marriages” is therefore 16:1 in the Council of Europe (this will be of importance the next time the European Court of Human Rights ominously goes out searching for “emerging consensuses”…), while inside the EU it still is 8:1.