Europe rights chief thinks same-sex unions should be available worldvide

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Or at least in every European country. One of the top EU diplomats emphasized that every country needs to make a step forward in direction of the legal recognition of same-sex relationships. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, the Latvian-American Nils Muižnieks published a report yesterday saying:“The 20 member states of the Council of Europe that still do not provide any legal recognition to same-sex couples should enact legislation to create – at the very least – registered partnerships that ensure that privileges, obligations or benefits available to married or registered different-sex partners are equally available to same-sex partners. All states should ensure that legislation exists to provide registered same-sex couple with the same rights and benefits as married or registered different-sex couples, for example in the areas of social security, taxes, employment and pension benefits, freedom of movement, family reunification, parental rights and inheritance.”

The Council is wider than the EU. It includes also such countries as Turkey and Russia, which are unlikely to be called gay-friendly. The diplomat insist that same-sex unions (ideally – marriages) should become a norm, a standard, regardless of the country. And only in such case it would be possible to talk about equality as an existing fact. The report notes that 27 of the 47 member states currently offer some form of recognition for same-sex partnerships, 13 of which recognise same-sex marriage. 20 member states offer no recognition for same-sex couples.

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