Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Bulgaria would be required to recognize same-sex relationships in national legislation.
The ruling found that Bulgaria’s lack of recognition for same-sex relationships violates article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, a rule that protects the right to private and family life. However, the court did not demand that the country legalize same-sex marriage.
A Bulgarian same-sex couple Lilia Babulkova and Darina Koilova first filed the case after they got married in the U.K. in 2016 and moved back to Bulgaria. Without legal recognition of their marriage they are deprived of their rights to inheritance, tax insurance, and kinship for their future children.
The case was taken in 2020 by the European Court of Human Rights which is based in Strasbourg, France, and despite the ruling, Bulgaria’s government doesn’t intend to make any effort to implement it.
Legislative bodies around the world have been confronted with similar demands and pressure to lose their archaic social laws and recognize and legitimize LGBTQ+ relationships, in the same manner that heterosexual relationships have been for centuries.
According to the Human Rights Watch, The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said “States have a positive obligation to provide legal recognition to couples, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics, as well as to their children.”
Bulgaria has a long way to go when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Earlier this year, their supreme court passed a law that prevented transgender people from obtaining legal recognition of their gender.