There are currently no international human rights treaties in force that explicitly provide for the recognition and protection of same-sex relationships. The ‘family’ that is safeguarded under human rights treaties has been consistently defined in a heterosexual way. The consequence of non-recognition of same-sex relationships is a considerable degree of suffering and discrimination. This article questions whether it is justifiable for the international law of human rights to deny its protection to those people in same-sex relationships. It points in particular to recent developments that have taken place in many countries towards offering these relationships legal recognition. This article concludes that, given its commitment to equality and tolerance, international human rights law’s failure to recognise same-sex relationships is increasingly untenable.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio
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