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The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

16-05-2019

The prohibition of discrimination, and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare ...

The prohibition of discrimination, and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas. Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship, or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State. Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies, and the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally reserved to Member States, such as marital status and family law. This is a further updated version of a Briefing originally drafted by Piotr Bakowski. The previous edition was published in June 2018.

LGBTI in Africa: Widespread discrimination against people with non-conforming sexual orientations and gender identities

16-05-2019

Three out of five African countries have laws criminalising homosexuality and the public expression of sexual or gender behaviour that does not conform with heterosexual norms. These same laws even sometimes punish LGBTI (lesbian, gay, trans, intersex) rights advocacy. Some African countries have partly decriminalised LGBTI persons or given them better protection. However, across the continent – with the notable exception of South Africa – such persons are still far from fully enjoying the same rights ...

Three out of five African countries have laws criminalising homosexuality and the public expression of sexual or gender behaviour that does not conform with heterosexual norms. These same laws even sometimes punish LGBTI (lesbian, gay, trans, intersex) rights advocacy. Some African countries have partly decriminalised LGBTI persons or given them better protection. However, across the continent – with the notable exception of South Africa – such persons are still far from fully enjoying the same rights as other citizens. Furthermore, recent years have seen the emergence of a worrying trend: the adoption of tougher legislation coupled with clampdowns on homosexuals. An argument frequently used in support of discriminatory legislative and other measures targeting LGBTI persons is that non-conforming sexual orientations and gender identities were brought to Africa by Western colonisers and are contrary to the 'African values'. This claim has long been proven false by academic research, but tolerance for LGBTI is still very low in most African countries, and LGBTI people are all too often exposed to discrimination and violence. Against this backdrop, the EU institutions and Member States have a difficult task: on the one hand, they are committed under the Treaties to promote the EU core values in their external relations, and to monitor and tackle abuses in their partner countries. On the other hand, their actions and declarations in this area risk reinforcing the perception that the EU is trying to impose non-African values on Africa, all the more so since the notion of sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for discrimination is contested by African countries in the multilateral arena.

International Marriage Brokers and Mail Order Brides - Analysing the Need for Regulation

14-10-2016

The study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and commissioned, overseen and published by the Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs. This Study analyses the socio-legal status of the Mail-Order Bride industry in the EU, in terms of regulation, protection of rights, and the consequences of Mail-Order Bride relationships for women, men and children involved. It focuses on the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands ...

The study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and commissioned, overseen and published by the Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs. This Study analyses the socio-legal status of the Mail-Order Bride industry in the EU, in terms of regulation, protection of rights, and the consequences of Mail-Order Bride relationships for women, men and children involved. It focuses on the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland; defines the Mail-Order Bride (MOB) phenomenon. The report uses a combination of sociological and legal research methods including desk research, expert interviews and a mapping of International Marriage Broker (IMB) websites. It finds that it is difficult to distinguish between MOB and other groups of female marriage migrants. The report identifies three main legal gaps, namely the lack of regulation of IMB activities, the lack of a harmonized regime for family reunification, and the lack of harmonized protective measures for women in case of relationship break up. There is a need for additional prevention and protection measures, since female marriage migrants are considered particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.

Autor extern

Julia REINOLD (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance | UNU-MERIT), Inez ROOSEN (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance | UNU-MERIT), Alexander HOOGENBOOM (Maastricht University), Ingrid WESTENDORP (Maastricht University) and Katharina KOCK (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance | UNU-MERIT)

Rules on cross-border property regimes of spouses and registered partners

20-06-2016

In March 2016 the Commission proposed, in parallel, two regulations implementing enhanced cooperation on cross-border aspects of property regimes of marriages and registered partnerships. They replace a pair of earlier proposals from 2011, which lacked unanimous support in the Council.

In March 2016 the Commission proposed, in parallel, two regulations implementing enhanced cooperation on cross-border aspects of property regimes of marriages and registered partnerships. They replace a pair of earlier proposals from 2011, which lacked unanimous support in the Council.

The US Supreme Court's landmark rulings of June 2015

16-07-2015

The founding fathers drafting the US Constitution designed the government so that each branch had a check on the others, in order that no single branch would have absolute power. The Supreme Court's main method of controlling the power of the legislative branch is judicial review. Under this principle, it has the power to examine laws and declare them unconstitutional. While the US Constitution holds that democracy is the appropriate process for change, the Court has now ruled, in Obergefell v. Hodges ...

The founding fathers drafting the US Constitution designed the government so that each branch had a check on the others, in order that no single branch would have absolute power. The Supreme Court's main method of controlling the power of the legislative branch is judicial review. Under this principle, it has the power to examine laws and declare them unconstitutional. While the US Constitution holds that democracy is the appropriate process for change, the Court has now ruled, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that 'individuals who are harmed need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right'. In the closing days of June, the Court issued three rulings which have made, and will continue to have a major impact not only on US citizens but also on the broader US political landscape.

Child Maintenance Systems in EU Member States from a Gender Perspective

15-05-2014

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this note gives an overview of the legislation and legal principles in the Member States concerning the guarantee of payment of child maintenance for the custodial parent by the other parent in case of separation or divorce. This guarantee can be regulated by law and can be put in place by a special body or agency. This note pays particular attention to differences between men and women in their roles for the financial support of children.

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this note gives an overview of the legislation and legal principles in the Member States concerning the guarantee of payment of child maintenance for the custodial parent by the other parent in case of separation or divorce. This guarantee can be regulated by law and can be put in place by a special body or agency. This note pays particular attention to differences between men and women in their roles for the financial support of children.

Autor extern

Karolina BEAUMONT and Peter MASON

Matrimonial property regimes and patrimonial aspects of other forms of union: what problems and proposed solutions? (Proposal for Rome IV Regulation)

30-11-2010

This note provides an objective analysis of the property law aspects of living together in situations where the relationship has connections with more than one EU Member State. The analysis focuses on couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex relationships, living together either in the form of a marriage, a registered partnership or who de facto live together. The note identifies main problems related to the matrimonial property regimes and patrimonial aspects of other forms of union with a cross-border ...

This note provides an objective analysis of the property law aspects of living together in situations where the relationship has connections with more than one EU Member State. The analysis focuses on couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex relationships, living together either in the form of a marriage, a registered partnership or who de facto live together. The note identifies main problems related to the matrimonial property regimes and patrimonial aspects of other forms of union with a cross-border dimension and concludes by making some recommendations.

Autor extern

Sjef van Erp, Professor für Zivilrecht und Europäisches Privatrecht, Institut für Europäisches Privatrecht, Universität Maastricht

Content and effects of the European Certificate of succession as proposed in the Proposal for a Regulation on Succession and Wills

30-11-2010

This note analyses the provisions on the content and effects of the European Certificate of Succession, laid down in the Proposal for a Regulation on Succession and Wills. The main purpose of the European Certificate is to constitute a proof of the capacity of heir or legatee and the powers of the executors of wills or thirdparty administrators. There is close link between the content and the effects of the European Certificate of succession. They follow from the purpose for which the certificate ...

This note analyses the provisions on the content and effects of the European Certificate of Succession, laid down in the Proposal for a Regulation on Succession and Wills. The main purpose of the European Certificate is to constitute a proof of the capacity of heir or legatee and the powers of the executors of wills or thirdparty administrators. There is close link between the content and the effects of the European Certificate of succession. They follow from the purpose for which the certificate is issued. Following the note's conclusions, the European Certificate cannot constitute a title for entries in public registers.

Autor extern

Lenka LESZAY

Mutual recognition of same-sex marriage, of civil partnerships of same-sex and opposite sex couples: current situation in member states. need for eu action?

30-11-2010

This paper focuses upon the UK, common law perspective of mutual recognition of same-sex marriage, of civil partnerships of same-sex and opposite sex couples, covering matters relating to marriage/civil partnership, divorce/dissolution, ancillary relief/financial provision and issues relating to children.

This paper focuses upon the UK, common law perspective of mutual recognition of same-sex marriage, of civil partnerships of same-sex and opposite sex couples, covering matters relating to marriage/civil partnership, divorce/dissolution, ancillary relief/financial provision and issues relating to children.

Autor extern

Charles Hyde QC, Queen Elizabeth Building Temple, London

The Impact of the Increasing Numbers of Same-Sex Marriages or Legally Recognized Partnerships on Other Legal Domains, Such as Property Rights and Divorce Law

03-09-2007

Many EU Member States have introduced specific provisions on same-sex marriages and registered partnerships that grant to homosexual couples a number of rights that differ according to certain patterns, depending upon the degree of differentiation from opposite-sex couples. While the effect on the personal status, the personal relationship and the property regime within the same-sex couple is often the same as in heterosexual relationships, the rights arising from the relationship between the couple ...

Many EU Member States have introduced specific provisions on same-sex marriages and registered partnerships that grant to homosexual couples a number of rights that differ according to certain patterns, depending upon the degree of differentiation from opposite-sex couples. While the effect on the personal status, the personal relationship and the property regime within the same-sex couple is often the same as in heterosexual relationships, the rights arising from the relationship between the couple and their children (either biological or adopted) vary considerably. The same applies to the dissolution of the marriage or partnership, and the conditions and consequences thereof. States that recognise the validity of same-sex marriages and registered partnerships have adopted special conflicts of laws provisions on jurisdiction and the recognition of decisions and on the law applicable to such relationships in order to grant also to non-nationals the possibility to celebrate a marriage or conclude a registered partnership with a same-sex partner and to reduce the consequences of the non-recognition of such couples abroad.

Autor extern

Stefania Bariatti (Université de Milan, Italy), Carola Ricci (Université de Milan, Italy) and Laura Tomasi (Université de Milan, Italy)

Evenimente viitoare

25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Audiere -
FEMM
26-01-2021
Public hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
Audiere -
PECH
26-01-2021
The impact of Brexit on the level playing field in the area of taxation
Audiere -
FISC

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