STRASBOURG, April 8, 2011 ( – Natural marriage and the family are facing yet another attack through the European Court of Human Rights, which has agreed to hear a case next week on homosexual adoption in France.

The case goes back to June 2007, when two women complained that French law did not allow the adoption of a child to couples in a same-sex legal union.

The applicants, Valerie Gas and Natalie Dubois, complained that French authorities had refused Gas’s application to adopt Dubois’ child. They contested that this decision has infringed upon their right to respect for their private and family life and was discriminatory.

The two have lived together since 1989 and Dubois had a child in 2000 using an anonymous sperm donor.

The hold they were being denied their rights guaranteed under Article 8, the right to “family life” of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 365 of the French Civil Code, however, says that adoption of a partner’s child is allowed only when the couple is married. French law does not include same-sex partnerings in its definition of marriage.

The case was allowed by the ECHR, which said that it “raised serious issues of fact and law.” During the admissibility stage, the court held that the notion of the “family” in Article 8 “is not confined solely to marriage-based relationships and may encompass other de facto ‘family’ ties where the parties are living together outside of marriage.”

The Court also underlined that “sexual orientation” falls within the personal sphere protected by Article 8 of the Convention.

The French government, however, denied that the women were being discriminated against because of their “sexual orientation,” saying that under the current law unmarried opposite-sex couples are subject to the same restriction. 

The government holds that the reasons for refusing to confer married status on same-sex partners are legitimate. It also stressed that the original decision to refuse the adoption had been based on the child’s interests and not on the applicants’ sexual orientation.

Gregor Puppinck, head of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), which is intervening in the case, said that it is clear there is no such thing as a right to adopt children between same-sex partners.

The ECLJ, he said, has urged the Human Rights Court to “exercise self-restraint in ideological matters,” and to respect the right of states to “legislate according to their own social needs and values.”

He warned that a finding of “indirect discrimination” would be “nothing other than a new step in the destruction of the occidental family model, in its legal, social and natural dimensions.”

He pointed out that it is “no accident” that the case of Gas and Dubois is of interest to a large number of homosexualist activist NGOs at the EU. These include the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and the Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA).

“We are witnessing the latest in a long series of attempts to attack the European common heritage, by introducing new anthropological, moral and social views,” Puppinck added.


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