The European Court of Human Rights has reiterated its ruling that same-sex marriage is not a human right that can be found within the Convention.
The Court made the ruling in 2010 but reiterated its decision last week in a separate case involving a lesbian couple from France.
The Strasbourg-based Court’s original decision on same-sex marriage came after a homosexual couple asked the Court to reinterpret Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article 12 states: “Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family”.
The Court held that, looked at in isolation, the text could “be interpreted so as not to exclude the marriage between two men or two women”.
But it added: “However, in contrast, all other substantive articles of the Convention grant rights and freedoms to ‘everyone’ or state that ‘no one’ is to be subjected to certain types of prohibited treatment. The choice of wording in article 12 must thus be regarded as deliberate.
“Moreover, regard must be had to the historical context in which the Convention was adopted. In the 1950s marriage was clearly understood in the traditional sense of being a union between partners of different sex.”
Last week the Westminster Government launched a public consultation on its plans to rewrite the definition of marriage.
While the consultation asks if people agree with redefining marriage, the Government has already made clear that it wants to change the law.
The Coalition for Marriage, a grassroots campaign group dedicated to preserving the current definition of marriage, branded it a “sham” which will ignore opposition.
Earlier this week a former Chairman of the Conservative Party said that David Cameron’s plans for same-sex marriage are ill-considered and will not win him the next election.
Lord Tebbit said: “I doubt if Mr Cameron’s new-found enthusiasm for ‘gay marriage’ will make it any more likely that he will lead the Conservative Party to a majority in 2015 or add greatly to the sum total of happiness and contentment in our society.”
And The Sun’s associate editor Trevor Kavanagh said: “Changing the structure of marriage, under pressure from a few militants, is more than a gesture of support of gay rights.
“It is a gratuitous poke in the eye for the seven out of ten of us who think marriage is a heterosexual institution and had no idea he planned to change it.”