An organization of lawyers defending religious liberty and the sanctity of life have filed a brief with the European Court of Human Rights to defend Italy’s sovereign right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The court agreed on Friday to allow the organisation, US-based Alliance Defending Freedom, to intervene as a third party in defense of the country’s marriage laws.
“The people of Italy recognize that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad,” said Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska.
“Under the European Convention of Human Rights, the Strasbourg court is obliged to allow Italy to define marriage in a manner consistent with this truth. This lawsuit is asking the court to step outside of its bounds and impose a redefinition of marriage upon a Council of Europe member state that has exclusive authority over marriage within its own borders. The court should reject this request.”
The case, Orlandi v. Italy, began after the Italian government denied a marriage license to two members of the same sex who applied for one. The case made its way through Italy’s courts, which all upheld the country’s marriage laws. The same-sex couple then filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights.
Alliance Defending Freedom says its brief examines previous European Court of Human Rights positions on the matter, the treatment of marriage in the domestic laws of other nations, the sociological theory behind the definition of marriage and family, and the harms that could come as a result of redefining marriage under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Noting that the Court recognises that it “cannot impose a single moral code over Europe” regarding issues of “ethical controversy,” the ADF said “no intergovernmental court has ever recognized same-sex ‘marriage’ as a right.”
“It therefore stands that this Court should continue to follow its previous holdings that the Convention does not confer a right to same-sex ‘marriage’,” the organisation said.
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On the NET: Alliance Defending Freedom