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Kids of Gay Parents Reflect on Same-Sex Parenting

April 21st, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

Bobby LopezBy Rivka Edelman, Bobby Lopez and Dawn Stephanowicz, English Manif

This installment of La Joie de Vivre is Part 1 of a four-part series. In December 2013, three of the most outspoken adults raised by gay parents — Rivka Edelman, Robert Oscar "Bobby" Lopez, and Dawn Stefanowicz — conferred for an hour to talk about same-sex parenting. The recording of their voices will be uploaded with graphics as episodes of Rue des Sages, but for now, English Manif is posting the written transcripts of their conversation for people to peruse.

There are some distinctions among Rivka, Bobby, and Dawn that are important to note at the outset. All three grew up with gay parents in the 1970s. Dawn and Rivka, now in their fifties, experienced some of same-sex parenting in the 1960s, while Bobby, in his early forties, experienced same-sex parenting in the 1980s. All three were raised by gay parents in a time when same-sex parenting was not a political phenomenon, and when the gay community was not particularly interested in the experiences of children raised by gay parents.

Rivka, Bobby, and Dawn are also more educated than the average child of a same-sex couple. Rivka and Bobby both have doctorates in English from highly ranked universities; they are also both professors. Dawn completed her studies in Canada and received her license as an accountant. Since Dawn published Out from Under in 2007, she has been flown around the world, testifying in places like Paraguay; her writing has been translated into languages ranging from Chinese to Portuguese. Likewise, Rivka and Bobby are both published authors.

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“Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils”

April 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Education, Islam Comments Off

By Paul Goodman, Conservative Home

More of those in Britain who declare themselves to be Muslims than Christians practice their faith. But only a minority adhere to the Salafist version of Islam, and not all of them will agree that, in school, “boys should always be covered between the navel and the knee and girls should be covered except for their hands and faces, a concept known as ‘hijab’ ” (especially in primary school, or before those girls have reached puberty, or both).
Nor will they necessarily believe that “dance performances before a mixed gender audience may also be objectionable”, that “studying forms of music and drama that may raise religious or moral concerns for Muslim pupils and parents”, or that pupils may be exposed in schools to “potentially harmful forms of music”. These strictures are as worrying as they are vague. What are these “harmful” forms of music? Part-song? Minimalism? Tech house? And what dance performances might be “objectionable”? A school rehash of “Strictly”, perhaps? What are the forms of drama that might raise “religious and moral concerns”? A sixth form production of “Romeo and Juliet”, maybe, with a Christian boy and a Muslim girl? “Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” says Juliet, after kissing Romeo for the first time. Would it be a real sin for that kiss to be acted out upon a stage?
The questions are as suggestive as the words that provoke them are real. These are all taken from a document called Meeting the Needs of Muslim Pupils, published by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007, but now missing from the website of that organisation. (The title turns up on google, but the link is blank.) The man who extolled that report in the Guardian, Tahir Alam, is a former Chairman of the MCB’s education committee – and one of the key figures in the Birmingham school row.
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Families: Beware the homosexual lobby’s agenda

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Activism Comments Off

By John Smeaton, SPUC

Runt Hunt, the acting head of Stonewall, the UK's main homosexual lobby, wrote an article recently for "Pink News" entitled: "We must celebrate equal marriage whilst looking ahead to what is still to be done".

As I say in my forthcoming column in SPUC's Pro-Life Times: "This aggressive homosexual rights group wants to probe right into family homes – yours and mine – to dictate what parents should teach to their children. And they’ll be looking for legislation to enforce this".

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager who has studied the homosexual lobby in Britain carefully, has written the following helpful reflections on Hunt's article:

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I can’t just sit and watch the misery of divorce, says judge as he quits

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Divorce Comments Off

Sir Paul ColeridgeBy Daniel Martin, Mailonline

A senior judge has called for action to ‘stem the tide’ of family breakdown – as it was revealed Britain has more failed marriages than almost any other country.

Sir Paul Coleridge retired from the High Court’s Family Division on Thursday after he was formally warned over campaigning for marriage.

He said he could not ‘sit here day after day’ seeing the effect of family breakdown without speaking out against it.

In December he was reprimanded by heads of the judiciary after setting up the Marriage Foundation think tank and airing views in a newspaper article.

At a retirement ceremony yesterday, Sir Paul said: ‘I know how consoling and good a good marriage can be and how it gets better over the years and also how ghastly family breakdown can be. Something can and should be done to stem the tide of family breakdown.

‘Family judges have a unique experience of this and therefore a unique contribution to make.

‘We should not be afraid to speak out … I cannot sit here day after day watching misery and doing nothing.’

Sir Paul’s comments came as an international report found barely half of UK adults are married – and almost one in ten are divorced or separated. Only four countries in the West have a higher proportion of divorcees who have not remarried.

Last night Norman Wells, of campaigners Family and Youth Concern, said the rise in unmarried cohabitation, outlined in the report, was a ‘disaster for children’ as it meant their parents were more likely to separate.

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Booklet on implications of same-sex ‘marriage’ placed in schools

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Education, Gay Marriage Comments Off

From Christian Concern

The Coalition for Marriage has succeeded in placing its booklet informing teachers of the implications of introducing same-sex marriage in every school in Gloucestershire.

The 27-page guide contains sections headed “No promotion of sexual orientation” and “Teachers are free to express opinions, but not to promote political policies”.

Advice has also been given to schools in the guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which states:

• No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.
• Teachers, other school staff, governors, parents and pupils are all free to hold whatever personal views they choose on marriage of same sex couples, including a view that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The Government recognises that the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.
• Schools with a religious character can continue to deliver sex and relationship education in accordance with their particular religious doctrines or ethos.”

Campaign Director of the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart said: "We hope that this guidance will help protect children, teachers and parents who believe in traditional marriage. Our own guide also highlights why teachers should not be forced to endorse the redefinition of marriage in the classroom and emphasises that schools should deal with this controversial issue in a balanced and sensitive way.

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The legal maze of twins with three mothers

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

By Philippa Taylor, Conjugality

A case concerning twin girls has come before the Court of Appeal in the UK that almost defies imagination in its complexity of relationships. If it weren’t a disturbing harbinger of things to come, it could almost be dismissed as a comedy of errors.
The story starts in the 1990s with two lesbians beginning an ‘intimate relationship’. At some point the relationship became platonic but the two women continued to share a house together until 2012. They disagree over the point at which their relationship became platonic.
While the relationship was still ‘intimate’, following unsuccessful attempts by the one of the women (the respondent) to conceive using her own eggs, the other (the appellant) agreed to donate her own eggs so that the respondent could become pregnant. She donated eggs which were fertilised with sperm from an anonymous male donor. A number of embryos were created as a result.
Some of the embryos were implanted in the respondent who carried and gave birth to twins. So the twins have a birth mother (who therefore became the legal mother), a different biological mother (who has no legal rights or responsibilities, despite being their biological mother) and a genetic father who is currently anonymous.
This case gets more complex. Some of the original embryos remained so one was implanted to the appellant (the woman who had donated her eggs to create them) and she then gave birth to her own daughter, D, in November 2012.
So by this point the appellant is both the biological and birth mother, and thus legal mother, of D, with the same anonymous donor for the father as the twins have. She is, of course, also the biological mother of the twins and because the children all have the same father, biologically, they are full siblings. However, she is not the twins' legal mother. Under section 27 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the other woman, the respondent, is the twins' mother.
To complicate matters even further …
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Stolen Childhood Conference

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

A conference to explore the dangers to which our children are increasingly exposed in society today, and the reasons for this, putting forward strategies for change at both government and family levels.

Hosted by the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group

Date: Wednesday, 30th April 2014

Venue: The Emmanuel Centre

9-23 Marsham Street

Westminster SW1P 3DW

Time: 10 am – 5 pm (Registration from 9:30am)

Cost: £20 Registration Fee

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Canadian economist never knew he would become centre of a U.S. firestorm over his research on same-sex parenting

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Tristin Hopper, National Post

In a Detroit courtroom this month, a British Columbia economist was called to the stand to help build the State of Michigan’s case that overturning its ban on gay marriage would be a mistake.

For four and a half hours, Douglas Allen was grilled by prosecuting attorneys on his small body of research on same sex parenting. Specifically, he was there to defend a trio of statistical studies purporting to show that same sex parenting does not compare to its heterosexual equivalent.

Then, in the final 30 seconds of the cross-examination, attorney Ken Mogill threw Mr. Allen an unexpected theological question: “Is it accurate that you believe the consequence in engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation from God?”

In an answer that would soon be called a “bombshell” by Detroit media, an off-guard Mr. Allen replied “without repentance, yes.”

Within days, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman effectively legalized Michigan gay marriage, and ruled that Mr. Allen’s research represented a “fringe viewpoint.”

Within hours of that, four Michigan counties had begun handing out marriage licences to same sex couples.

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Gay Marriage And Child Abuse

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Alan Craig

“I am writing to inform you of the gay wedding between Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow taking place this Saturday,” gushed the PR agent’s email from Essex that dropped into our GayMarriageNoThanks inbox a few days before the first gay marriage day on 29th March.

“We… actively invite protesters to turn up and be interviewed,” burbled the blurb. “The national press already confirmed are Sky TV, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun. A significant number of regional publications, radio stations and TV channels are also confirmed…

“Stars of The Only Way Is Essex are among the many celebrities set to make appearances at the wedding of the gay dads,” the puff piece went on. “Elton John has been invited,” they oozed.

Clearly the event was to be an exercise in spin, hype and mirrors. The Drewitt-Barlows were legally bound together in a massively publicised Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006; they cannot therefore legally be married until more laws are changed, probably later this year. So there was to be a celebration, a party and a booze-up, but no wedding. The event was a fake.

We decided to go anyway. Having confirmed with the PR agent that no children would be in the media zone outside the event, and that we came in peace to explain our opposition to gay marriage not to protest, we set off with our GMNT posters (one shown right: ‘I want my Mum’) and arrived just before it started.

Surprise, surprise: Sky TV was not there. Neither was The Daily Mail. Nor The Sun. Not even Elton John.

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Italian parents push back against ‘gender deconstruction’ project in schools

April 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

by Hilary White, LifeSite News

This week, a group of parents told the city administration in the small Tuscan town of Pontassieve that they would not go along with the introduction of the homosexualist “gender” ideology in their schools.

The parents addressed the proposed “ECOS – Deconstructing to build” program that aims to “help eliminate the stereotypes associated with gender.” Parents quoted the Italian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights that say in the area of public education, the state “must respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.” The school, they said, “must not invade the field of education within the family."
The parents said, “The appropriate and necessary fight against bullying and all forms of discrimination cannot be manipulated by anyone or used to spread messages of other kinds, such as the affirmation of gender identity."
They have launched a petition to stop the ECOS Project, citing the Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Gabriele Toccafondi, who has said that schools cannot be “an ideological battleground” and has blocked a plan to send “gender theory” materials to schools at the national level.
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Gay teacher who writes books challenging homophobia has resigned after parents complained they did not want him to teach their children

April 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Activism, Sexualisation Comments Off

By Lucy Osborne, Mailonline

A gay assistant head teacher has been forced to resign after Muslim parents complained that they did not want their children learning that it’s OK to be homosexual.

The dispute at Birmingham’s Chilwell Croft Academy, which mainly involved Muslim parents, is the latest controversy surrounding a secular state school in the city.

Andrew Moffat, who resigned from the primary school in December and will leave his post this month, said some Christian parents had also complained.

But fellow teachers are concerned that the respected teacher may have been the victim of an alleged plot by Muslim extremists to force non-Muslim teachers out and replace them with hardliners.

Last month a letter was circulated referring to a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot for Muslim extremists to take over the running of schools in Birmingham.

The authenticity of the letter is unclear but its very existence led to a flood of allegations from parents and staff at several schools .

At least 12 schools are under now investigation by the Department for Education (DfE) following allegations that strict Islamic practices have been introduced there.

Mr Moffat has written several articles and books on homophobia in schools, in which he makes recommendations of how to teach children how to be tolerant.

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The link between family structure and poverty

April 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Poverty Comments Off

By Nicole M King, MercatorNet

The News Story – Project to improve poor children’s intellect led to better health, data shows
The New York Times recently highlighted a study that seems to show promising results for a specialized-care program for children born into poverty.

In 1972, researchers in North Carolina began tracking two groups of babies from poor families. In one group, “the children were given full-time day care up to age 5 that included most of their daily meals, talking, games and other stimulating activities.” The other group received baby formula, but no other form of interaction. The full study was published in Science on Thursday of last week. “By age 30,” reports the Times, “those in the group given special care were four times as likely to have graduated from college.” In addition, however, both men and women in the treatment group had better health outcomes, including lower rates of hypertension and risk factors for heart disease, better nutritional habits, and lower rates of diabetes and stroke. Surprised by the physical health benefits and thrilled about potential outcomes for children born into poverty, the researchers are currently looking into how the cost of the program ($16,000 per child, per year, in 2010 dollars) compares with the cost of medical care were the children not enrolled.

While better outcomes for children born into poverty is undoubtedly a worthy goal, the glaring omission in this story is what places those children in poverty to begin with. Other research has demonstrated that we might better use that $16,000 per child, per year.

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Stolen Childhood Conference

April 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

A conference to explore the dangers to which our children are increasingly exposed in society today, and the reasons for this, putting forward strategies for change at both government and family levels.

Hosted by the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group

Date: Wednesday, 30th April 2014

Venue: The Emmanuel Centre

9-23 Marsham Street

Westminster SW1P 3DW

Time: 10 am – 5 pm (Registration from 9:30am)

Cost: £20 Registration Fee

Read here

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It pains me to agree with Clegg, but he’s right to oppose a disturbing ‘Cinderella law’

April 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

Lord TebbitBy Norman Tebbit, Telegraph

[...] As ever, I try to be fair, and readers will understand how hard it is for me to say this, but in all honesty I have to do so. Mr Clegg is right in his strongly worded expressions of unease about, even opposition to, the Government's support for some sort of so-called Cinderella law.

The idea of the state giving the Law Courts power and responsibility to decide whether parents have given sufficient love and kindness to children is beyond even anything Orwell conceived.
Coincidentally it comes just as psychologists and others are raising the alarm of the effects of the exposure of children through the internet to the depravity, violence and cruelty of computer games and programmes on mobile phones and over the internet. Scientists, behaviourists and psychotherapists, even sociologists, have concluded that what many of us have been saying for years is indeed true. Such exposure does normalise depravity and violence.
So what should a loving parent do? Should he or she deny their children access to such programmes? Or would that be emotional cruelty and an offence against the criminal law? We know that the agencies which are supposed to protect children all too often fail to do so. How would they, the police, prosecuting authorities and courts cope with pursing parents or guardians who might offend against a Cinderella law?
All we can be certain of is that the lawyers will do well out of it, as appeals grow in numbers and the ECHR sticks its obtrusive nose into our legal system.
Read here
See Mac cartoon here
Read also:  The Cinderella Law that doesn’t come with a happy ending by Martin Sewell, Conservative Home
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It doesn’t come much clearer than this …

April 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage, Marriage Comments Off

Here’s US marriage expert Ryan T. Anderson giving one of his sparkling clear presentations on the problem with same-sex marriage. If you want to see how you can talk comfortably to your friends and family about the importance of preserving marriage, watch this video.

It’s nearly an hour long but Ryan’s presentation takes the first 23 minutes – and it’s worth every minute of your time to listen to him.

His bio – just to refresh your memory:

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Christian fostering agency, investigated over its pro-marriage stance, set to expand

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

An evangelical fostering and adoption agency that was investigated by the Charity Commission over its pro-marriage stance, is seeking to expand its business and supporter base.

Cornerstone (North East) Fostering and Adoption Service’s long-standing policy of only placing children with heterosexual married couples who are evangelical Christians came under scrutiny in 2008, after the Sexual Orientation Regulations came into force.

The Regulations led to several religious adoption agencies being forced to close or secularise. But with the help of The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund, Cornerstone was able to successfully defend its policy and, three years later, the Commission confirmed that Cornerstone’s pro-marriage stance was compliant with equality laws.
The agency has plans to expand its work, including setting up offices in other regions of the UK and increasing its network of supporters.
Its distinctive policy, known as ‘Forever Families’, enables a majority of its foster carers to eventually adopt the children placed with them. However, this has meant a loss of income as fostering agencies are paid a monthly fee for every child they place which ceases once the child is adopted.
Cornerstone’s new General Manager Pam Birtle said that they continue to ask God for the right families and the right parents.
If you would like to support Cornerstone's work, or find out more, please visit Cornerstone's website.
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Family courts: Six months in prison for a woman who was careful to do the ‘right’ thing

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Injustice Comments Off

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph

The latest instalment of a curious story speaks volumes about the murky workings of Britain's child-care system

Two years ago, I reported the curious case of a mother threatened with prison because social workers discovered that her 17-year-old son had been chatting on Facebook with his younger teenage sisters. The sisters were very unhappily in foster care, not for anything done to them at home, but for their own safety, because they had been physically threatened by a gang on the estate where they lived. Even though the mother had not broken an order forbidding her to contact them herself, Judge Rundell refused to accept that she had not encouraged her son to do so. He gave her a six-month suspended prison sentence; also, astonishingly, banning her from entering the entire county where her daughters are kept.

The girls recently published on Facebook that the younger one had been sexually abused by an adult. When her complaints about this were not heeded, her sister was bullied by other inmates of the home for standing up for her (a video shows her being dragged against barbed wire, leaving horrible marks on her back). The girls became so desperate that they ran away, to the flat where their brother now lives.

When he rang to tell his mother what had happened, she immediately rang the police, who agreed to inform the social workers. But next day, imagining the girls had left, she went to her son’s flat, to find the police and social workers only just arriving. Her daughters were crying that they didn’t want to be taken back. The son recorded the police telling her to go in to “give them a cuddle”. The social workers were recorded telling her that, if she left, “no further action will be taken”, which she did. Yet next day she was told she would be summoned for breaking the court order.

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The first harm is the biggest harm

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Michael Cook, MercatorNet

A bioethics expert argues that laws ensuring that every child knows its mother and father are unethical.

Britain’s first same-sex marriages will take place this coming weekend. In May Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish plan to exchange vows, making them spouses as well as parents to their two sons, Zachary and Elijah. Jubilant campaigners say that fears of an impending social calamity are nonsense.
In The Conversation, a law lecturer at Cardiff University, Leanne Smith, comments: “Ultimately, no institutions, religions, lifestyles or individuals have been harmed … The advent of gay marriage changes virtually nothing – but by validating gay relationships, it will transform lives and spread happiness.”
But something has changed: Elijah and Zachary do not know which of the two men is their father and they do not know who their mother is. The California birth certificates list Sir Elton as the legal father and Furnish as the legal mother. The biological mother and the surrogate mother may or may not be the same person, but they have been excluded from the boys’ lives.
The UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child guarantees both that “a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother” and that “the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration” in all legislation. Same-sex marriage not only violates these rights, but institutionalises the injustice. Children living within these partnerships are cut off from their mother or father, or even from both. Of all the harms flowing from the legalisation of same-sex marriage, this is the first and most inevitable.
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The state is the worst wicked stepmother of all

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family Comments Off

By Ed West, Spectator

What a fantastically stupid idea, I thought, reading the paper this morning.

[...]  The new law gives an indirect hint at its target in the name; children are far more at risk of being abused by non-biological parents and this is known as ‘the Cinderella Effect’. ‘Cinderella’ is a classic example of a fairy tale that speaks an essential truth about mankind’s nature; that non-blood relations can be a threat to children, as any primatologist can tell you. This was a common problem when mortality rates among the parents of young children were high, but declined in the 18th-20th centuries.

However, the number of children raised without one of their parents has increased sharply in recent years, partly due to changing sexual mores but also the involvement of the state itself; the largest increase in non-marital births came after the 1977 Homeless Persons Act gave lone mothers priority on housing lists.
The Tory MP behind this proposal wrote, ‘The sad truth is that, until now, the Wicked Stepmother would have got away scot-free.’ Possibly, but there would not have been so many wicked stepmothers, or stepfathers, or mother’s current boyfriends, without the state in the first place.
Without social mores that encourage people to raise children in ways that best protect them, and without financial incentives to do so, the only alternative is towards a more Spartan view of the state as parent to us all; and a parent that hinders our physical, intellectual, emotional, social and behavioural development.
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The Dilution of the Family in Human Rights

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Human Rights Comments Off

From Zenit

Comments on Vallianatos and Other ECHR Cases on 'Family Life': Reinforcing the State's Hold Over Society in Exchange for the Promise of Greater Freedom for Individuals.

In the decision of Vallianatos and others v. Greece (No. 29381/09 and 32684/09) delivered on 7th November 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) considered that two adult men living separately should benefit from the protection granted to families in the particular case where they maintained a stable homosexual relationship. On this occasion the Court affirmed that, from now on, when a European State legislates as regards the family, it “in its choice of meansmust necessarily take into account developments in society and changes in the perception of social and civil-status issues and relationships, including the fact that there is not just one way or one choice when it comes to leading one’s family or private life” (§ 84). The Court thus ensures that European States adapt their legislation to (its own perception of) the evolution of morals. This decision marks a new stage in the accelerated dissolution of the legal definition of the family which from a biological and institutional reality has become a concept which is flexible to the point of inconsistency.
The family constituted by marriage and/or children
The European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention) protects “private and family life” in the same provision (Article 8), along with the home and correspondence. However, the Court has progressively distinguished the protection of private life from that of family life. Private life is a broad concept which does not lend itself to an exhaustive definition. The essential goal of the protection afforded by it is to protect the individual from the arbitrary interference of the authorities and it may in addition create positive obligations inherent in an effective "respect" for private life (Olsson v. Sweden, No. 10465/83, 24.03.1988). As for the protection of family life, it focuses primarily on the relationship between children and their parents. According to the traditional case law of the Court, the right to respect for family life "presupposes the existence of a family" (Marckx v. Belgium, No. 6833/74, 13.06.1979, § 31) or of a potential relationship that could have been developed, for example, between a natural father and a child born out of wedlock (Nylund v. Finland, No. 27110/95). Thus, the Court considered that in the absence of marriage it is the existence of a child which was constitutive of family life (Johnston v. Ireland, No. 9697/82, 18.12.1986). Unmarried couples without children could not claim the benefits of the protection afforded to families (Elsholz v. Germany [GC], No. 25735/94, 13.07.2000).
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