Open civil unions to gays: EU court


Civil unions should not be reserved for heterosexual couples, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday, condemning Greece for creating a “life partner” legal category that excludes gays.

Judges in Strasbourg said authorities in Orthodox Christian Greece had not offered “convincing and weighty reasons capable of justifying the exclusion of same-sex couples” when passing a 2008 law. The court noted that European states have no obligation to provide some form of legal recognition for gay relationships. But of the 19 states that authorize some form of registered partnership other than marriage, Lithuania and Greece “are the only ones to reserve it exclusively for couples of the opposite sex,” the court said.