ECtHR confirms: the Human Rights Convention contains no “Right to same-sex marriage”

In today’s judgment in the case of  Chapin and Charpentier v. France (Appl. Nr. 40183/07), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has confirmed earlier rulings according which under the European Human Rights Convention the term “marriage” has no other meaning than that of a union between a man and a woman.

In May 2004 the applicants had submitted a marriage application to the civil registry department of Bègles municipal council. The municipal civil registrar published the banns of marriage. The public prosecutor at the Bordeaux tribunal de grande instance served notice of his objection to the marriage on the Bègles municipal civil registrar and on Mr Chapin and Mr Charpentier. Despite the objection, and in full awareness that he was violating the law, the mayor of Bègles performed the marriage ceremony and made an entry to that effect in the register of births, marriages and deaths. The competent lawcourts subsequently declared this “marriage” to be null and void. Having been dismissed at every stage of the French judicial system, the plaintiffs appealed to the ECtHR, contending “that they had been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation”.

Today the ECtHR confirmed the decision of the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), stating that the right to marriage in Article 12 of the Convention refers solely to the marriage between a man and a woman. In the same vein, it does not constitute a “discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation” if a state does not provide for “marriages” between two persons of the same sex.

The decision is of limited practical importance, given that due to the controversial Loi Taubira it is now possible for same-sex couples to “marry” in France.

The decision is already the third failed attempt of sexually perverse activists to impose same-sex “marriage” Europe-wide through so-called “strategic litigation”. But while the ECtHR usually is happy to take the cue from radical activists, it continues to pursue the LGBT agenda with caution when it comes to marriage. The reason is not only that the claim that the 1950 European Human Rights Convention must be interpreted include a right to same-sex “marriage” is too obviously false to be believed by any lawyer except those acting in bad faith, but also that at least 16 Member States of the Council of Europe have constitutional provisions that define marriage as a union of a man and a woman. The number of countries with such constitutional provisions keeps increasing, and this sends a clear message that an activist judgment that would re-define marriage (such as the infamous Obergefell decision of the US Supreme Court) would simply not be tolerated: such a decision would simply mark the end of the Human Rights Court itself.

Today’s judgment is therefore not really a reason to rejoice. The ECtHR is clearly an activist agenda through which it seeks to “normalize” sexual debauchery. But proclaiming a Europe-wide right to same-sex “marriage” never has been part of this agenda – at least not as long as the resistance among Member States remains as strong as it is.

Instead, the Court follows a more subtle strategy, under which it seeks to make marriage irrelevant and assimilate sodomy to marriage in all but name. Noting that many states provide to non-married couples a legal status that is in many ways assimilated to marriage, it argues that same-sex couples should get at least the same rights as those unmarried different-sex couples. More generally, it claims that “stable relationships” are deserving of legal recognition irrespective of their character and purpose, and that the relationship between two Sodomites can be placed on a par with the relationship of a man and a woman who are united through the bond of joint parenthood. In the name of “Equality”, unequal things are treated equally.

Even more absurdly, the Court is claiming that sodomy is assimilated to a “family relationship” under Article 8 of the Convention. This opinion, which appeared for the first time as a rather unmotivated obiter dictum in the  convoluted decision Schalk and Kopf v. Austria, and for which the Court so far has so far failed to provide any supportive argument, is obviously wrong: if Article 12 creates a clear link between the notions of “marriage” and “family”, and if marriage is between a man and a woman, then the term “family life” cannot engulf sodomy.

If we do not wish to accept this surreptitious “normalization” of homosexual lifestyles, we have no other choice put to spell out the truth very bluntly: sodomy is not a social good. It is sterile, does not contribute to the good of society, but spreads disease and misery and is ultimately self-destructive for those engaging in it. Of course, two persons of the same sex can love each other, and such love and friendship is something that is worthy of respect – even though it is not necessary that a specific legal status or recognition be provided to it. But genuine love between two persons of the same sex does not involve sexual intercourse, which is bound to remain sterile. Sodomy is not an expression of love, but of the egotism of two persons who sexually abuse each other. While one may have doubts whether any good purpose would be achieved by subjecting such obviously immoral acts to criminal sanctions, it is nevertheless clear that they do not constitute a public good that warrants support and legal recognition.