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The European Court of Human Rights, sitting as a Grand Chamber, in the case of Hämäläinen v. Finland, Application no. 37359/0916 July 2014 reaffirmed:

Regarding article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights:

 “71.  The Court reiterates its case-law according to which Article 8 of the Convention cannot be interpreted as imposing an obligation on Contracting States to grant same-sex couples access to marriage (see Schalk and Kopf v. Austria, no. 30141/04, § 101, ECHR 2010).”

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Regarding article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights:

 *96.  The Court reiterates that Article 12 of the Convention is a lex specialis for the right to marry. It secures the fundamental right of a man and woman to marry and to found a family. Article 12 expressly provides for regulation of marriage by national law. It enshrines the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman (see Rees v. the United Kingdom, cited above, § 49). While it is true that some Contracting States have extended marriage to same-sex partners, Article 12 cannot be construed as imposing an obligation on the Contracting States to grant access to marriage to same-sex couples (see Schalk and Kopf v. Austria, cited above, § 63).”

Regarding the alleged “European standards and consensus” that would prevent states from defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman:

 “73.  From the information available to the Court (see paragraph 31 above [(Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom(Englandand Walesonly)])., it appears that currently ten member States allow same-sex marriage.” (…)  “74.  Thus, it cannot be said that there exists any European consensus on allowing same-sex marriages.”

Reprinted with permission from