PACE hearing on the legal recognition in Europe of same-sex partnerships

Strasbourg, 05.03.2008 – A parliamentary hearing on “the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships”, organised by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), will take place in Paris on Friday 7 March 2008.

The hearing, involving parliamentarians, academics and representatives of the International Lesbian and Gay Association ILGA Europe, will also focus on freedom of assembly and expression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in the 47 Council of Europe member states.

“Intolerance toward lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people is still clearly present in our societies,” said Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), who is preparing a report on the subject. “This hearing should enable us to better understand the different points of view, even hostility, in certain sectors of society, and look at how to achieve positive change in mentalities and legislation. Lesbian and gay people have the same fundamental rights as anyone else,” he said.

The legal situation on same-sex partnerships varies across the Council of Europe area: around 20 countries enable registration of a partnership, while a similar number have no legal recognition at all. A few countries expressly prohibit same-sex marriage in their constitutions, while three member states currently allow civil marriage of same-sex partners.

* * *

Programme of the hearing

 Motion for a resolution on legal recognition of same-sex partnerships

Motion for a resolution on freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people

The hearing, which is open to the press, will take place from 9 to 10.30 a.m. at the Council of Europe office in Paris (55 avenue Kléber, Métro Boissière).

Contact: Francesc Ferrer, PACE Communication Unit, mobile +33 6 30 49 68 22.