In its Resolution 1948 (2013), the Parliamentary Assembly observed that prejudice, hostility and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity remained a serious problem. Since then, the private and family lives of tens of millions of Europeans have however continued to be affected by discrimination on the grounds of their own, their partner’s or their parents’ sexual orientation or gender identity. As regards sexual orientation, partnerships or marriages recognised in one country are not universally recognised when borders are crossed; children being raised by same-sex couples do not always benefit from equal legal relationships with both parents; in many cases, neither adoption nor co-adoption by persons living in same-sex couples are provided for; and so on.
As the Assembly has previously acknowledged, societal changes require time and may occur unevenly in different countries. Nonetheless, nearly half of the Council of Europe’s member States have not legislated to recognise and provide legal protection to all couples and families regardless of sexual orientation. Recent case-law of the European Court of Human Rights in this field is a wake-up call.
The Assembly should evaluate recent developments, identify good practices and formulate recommendations as regards achieving equality in the field of private and family life regardless of sexual orientation.