Is there a right to same-sex marriage under the ECHR? Fedotova


In Fedotova and Others v Russia [2023] ECHR 55, the six applicants formed three same-sex couples: two female and one male. On various dates, they gave notice of marriage to their local departments of the Register Office, but their notices were rejected. The authorities relied on Article 1 of the Russian Family Code, which defines marriage as a “voluntary marital union between a man and a woman”: since the applicant couples were not made up of “a man and a woman”, the authorities ruled that their notices of marriage could not be processed [24 & 25].

A Chamber of the Third Section ECtHR joined the three applications, and in a judgment on 13 July 2021 declared them admissible. It held that there had been a violation of Article 8 (private and family life) and found that there was no need to examine the merits of the complaints under Article 14 (discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 8. The judgment was unanimous – including the Russian judge, Dedov. The Russian Federation appealed [6 & 7].

The arguments Continue reading