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United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Widowed Parent’s Allowance for the Surviving Unmarried Partner

(Sept. 18, 2018) On August 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a ruling stating that “section 39A of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 [the Act] is incompatible with article 14 of the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights], read with article 8, insofar as it precludes […]

United Kingdom: Supreme Court Rules on Heterosexual Civil Partnerships

(Sept. 14, 2018) On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom issued a declaration that “sections 1 and 3 of [the Civil Partnership Act 2004, (CPA)], to the extent that they preclude a different sex couple from entering into a civil partnership, are incompatible with article 14 of [the European Convention for […]

Australia: New South Wales Enacts Bill to Amend Relationship References in Legislation

(July 13, 2018) On June 15, 2018, the governor of New South Wales in Australia gave assent to the Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Bill 2018 (NSW). (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Bill 2018, PARLIAMENT OF NEW SOUTH WALES (last visited July 12, 2018); Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Act 2018 No 28 (NSW), New South Wales Government […]

Switzerland: Abolition of Marriage Tax Penalty Proposed

(Apr. 5, 2018) On March 21, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted a legislative proposal to abolish the “marriage tax penalty” (marriage penalty). The proposal is designed to resolve the decades-long controversy surrounding the issue. (Swiss Federal Council, Botschaft zur Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer (Ausgewogene Paar- und Familienbesteuerung) [Message […]

Germany: Court Rules Costs for In Vitro Fertilization of Infertile Woman in Same-Sex Partnership Are Tax-Deductible

(Jan. 25, 2018) In a decision published on January 3, 2018, the German Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof, BFH), the supreme court in tax and customs matters, held that costs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) incurred by an infertile woman in a same-sex partnership are tax-deductible, reversing a lower court ruling. (BFH, Oct. 5, 2017, Docket No. VI […]

Australia: Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes

(Dec. 13, 2017) On December 7, 2017, the Australian House of Representatives (lower house) voted to pass the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, which legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, with only four members voting against the legislation. (Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA (last visited Dec. 7, 2017).) […]

Austria: Same-Sex Couples Allowed to Get Married Starting January 2019

(Dec. 12, 2017) On December 4, 2017, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) struck down the provisions of the Civil Code and the Registered Partnership Act that restrict marriage to persons of different sexes and registered partnerships to persons of the same sex, respectively.  The Court held that the provisions violate the prohibition of […]

Austria/European Court of Human Rights: No Discrimination If Heterosexual Couple Is Denied Access to Registered Partnership

(Nov. 16, 2017) On October 26, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held in a five to two decision that there is no violation of article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) when registered […]

Bahrain: Women’s Rights Activists Launch Campaign to Amend Citizenship Law

(Oct. 31, 2017) The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), in conjunction with other Bahrain women’s rights groups and various Members of Parliament (MPs) and the business community, has launched a campaign to extend equal citizenship rights to women by amending a provision of the country’s citizenship law.  (Huge Support for Gender Equality in Bahrain’s […]

Turkey: Bill Authorizing Muftis to Perform Civil Marriages and Amending Civil Registration Rules

(Oct. 2, 2017) On July 25, 2017, the Turkish government submitted draft legislation to the Grand National Assembly (Turkey’s parliament) containing a controversial provision that would grant muftis – Sunni civil servants employed in the country’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) – the authority to perform civil marriages. (Mahmut Bozarslan, Bill Allowing Turkish Muftis to […]