Claim: Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, says that the European Court of Justice has ruled that homosexuality is not a human right issue.
The European Court of Justice has not given such a ruling.
Ghanaian lawmaker, Sam George, has said that the European Court of Justice has delivered a ruling declaring that homosexuality is not a human right issue.
He made this claim on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, in an interview on state media, GTV.
“What portion of the 1992 constitution [of Ghana] confers homosexual rights as human rights? When you read [Article] 12 which talks about protections of fundamental human rights, it says that rights shall not be taken away from anybody. Where it talks about discrimination, it is clear, it talks about the basis under which you cannot discriminate against a person. Sexual preference is not one of them. Sexual preference is not one of those rights. Homosexuality is a sexual preference,” he said.
“The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the EU. It has ruled that homosexuality is not a human right,” Sam George said.
This claim by the legislator can be found between minutes 15:00 – 16:00 of the interview that was streamed on the Facebook page of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation
Dubawa’s reporter contacted Sam George for his source of information but did not get a response from the lawmaker.
However, to ascertain the veracity of the claim, we began with a Google search, by inputting “has EU court ruled that homosexuality is not human rights?”
Such a declaration by the court should definitely attract the necessary media attention, considering the implications it would have.
Several results came up in the Google search.
One of the top results featured a news story published in 2010 by the Guardian.
According to the story, the European Court of Human Rights had ruled that there was no violation of human rights for an Austrian couple denied the right to marry.
There were no other immediate results found where an EU court had ruled that the human right of homosexuals had been violated.
The news story published by the Guardian can also be found on the BBC website.
The case was filed by two Austrian men who said the refusal of the Austrian government to allow them to get married was a violation of their human rights – their right to marry.
The Court, in its ruling, said that the Austrian government had not violated the human rights of the two men by refusing them marriage.
The court ruled that the decision of whether or not to allow same-sex marriage was left to regulation by the national law of the States in which the marriage takes place.
The full judgement of that particular case can be found on the website of the European Court of Human Rights.
Similar judgments had been made by the European court on such cases brought before it.
There are several other rulings by the European Court of Human Rights on sexual orientation issues, focusing on the violation of various human right violations.
In fact, there is the European Convention on Human Rights for the protection of human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all persons.
There are 14 human rights provisions in the Convention that are to be enjoyed by all persons in the European Union.
Of all the fourteen, the Right to Marry (Article 12 of the Convention) is the only provision that can be exercised or enjoyed in accordance with “national laws governing the exercise.”
It is worth noting that Article 14 of the Convention prohibits discrimination against all persons on whatever grounds.
“The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status [emphasis mine].”
“Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.” [emphasis mine]
According to an Article published on the website of the European Union Parliament, sexual orientation has been identified in EU law as grounds of discrimination.
In view of that, several interventions have been made to prohibit discrimination.
Considering these, it is highly unlikely for the EU Court of Justice to rule that homosexuality is not a human right issue as claimed by the Ghanaian legislator.
We have reached out to the European Court of Justice and will update this report should new evidence emerge.
We found no evidence that an EU Court has ruled that homosexuality is not a human right. It appears EU laws are rather being strengthened to protect the rights of LGBT+ people.
It is possible that the Ghanaian legislator, Sam George, was referring to the European Court of Human Rights ruling that the Austrian government did not violate the rights of two men when it denied them the rights to contract marriage.
This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking.