1st December 2011 the Court held a Chamber hearing in the case of X. and Others v. Austria. The case concerns the complaint by two women, who live in a stable homosexual relationship, about the Austrian courts’ refusal to grant one of the partners the right to adopt the son of the other partner without severing the mother’s legal ties with the child (second-parent adoption). The applicants (the two women and the son) are represented by ECSOL-Co-Coordinator and RKL-president, Dr. Helmut Graupner.
In a decision delivered today the Austrian Constitutional Court ceased hyphen-discrimination of registered partners. Also same-sex couples enjoy the constitutional protection of the family. Disadvantageous treatment of registered versus married couples require particularly serious reasons. Separation as an end in itself (on principle) is inadmissible. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, now calls on the federal government to allow reason to prevail and repeal all the differences between registered partners and spouses.
The European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) condemns the arbitrary arrest and continued detention of the former Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Sarris and other individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation by the regime in Northern Cyprus. We strongly believe it is entirely unacceptable that people are still prosecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation for ‘’acts against the order of nature’’ in the 21st century.
Senior state officials, members of the diplomatic corps, prominent international experts, scholars and human rights advocates from throughout Europe, the United States and Canada will meet in Danilovgrad, Montenegro from 2-5 September for the international conference on the rights of sexual minorities and European integration, entitled “Toward Europe, Toward Equality”. The conference is organised by the Government of Montenegro, in cooperation with the International Academic Conference Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities, The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in the United States, the Lund University Department of Sociology of Law in Lund, Sweden, and the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL). Financial support is provided by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Belgrade.