The Right to a Privilege? Homonormativity and the Recognition of Same-Sex Couples in Europe

Ammaturo, Francesca Romana. 2014. The Right to a Privilege? Homonormativity and the Recognition of Same-Sex Couples in Europe. Social & Legal Studies, 23(2), pp. 175-194. ISSN 0964-6639 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Council of Europe (CoE) and its judicial body, the European Court of Human Rights, are at the forefront of the debate for the redefinition of the notion of ‘family’ in relation to the inclusion of same-sex couples. The recent jurisprudence has demonstrated a change in the Court’s approach to the question of what counts as a family, by terms of Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This much-anticipated development, nonetheless, begs the question of how the ‘right to marry and found a family’ might prove to be a privilege rather than a right. This article tries to shed light on the contradictions underpinning the expansion of the concept of family in the context of the CoE, suggesting the existence of a conflation of both heteronormative and homonormative narratives of kinship in the construction of a notion of the ‘family’ that encompasses same-sex couples.

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Supported by Economic and Social Research Council ES/I024085/1.


Commissioner for human rights, European Court of Human Rights, family, family life, heteronormativity, homonormativity, same-sex marriage

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June 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2014 10:43

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:09

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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