Bulgaria forced to legally recognise same-sex partnerships

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Bulgaria to recognise homosexual relationships in law.

The highest court in Europe overruled the country’s Supreme Court’s decision that registering a person’s overseas same-sex marriage violated the constitution’s definition that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Although the ECHR is not forcing the Bulgarian Government to legalise same-sex marriage, it said it must officially recognise homosexual partnerships and give them property and inheritance rights.


In 2016, Darina Koilova and Lilia Babulkova had a same-sex wedding in the UK and subsequently approached the ECHR after Bulgaria repeatedly said it could not register their marriage.

marriage is between one man and one woman

The Court has ordered the Bulgarian Government to pay them €3,000 in legal costs.

The homosexual couple are currently engaged in a separate case to change Koilova’s surname, and are suing the Centre for Assisted Reproduction for refusing to fund an IVF procedure.

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