AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

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AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

JUDIT TAKÁCS: How to put equality into practice?intimate, that should be respected, even where they have publicmanifestations.… private life is not as limiting as people think. The way the legal argumentworks under the European Convention on Human Rights is that first in theDudgeon case in 1981 the European Court of Human Rights said that anindividual’s sexual life is part of their private life. That was a big step thereand then. In 1997 in the Laskey case they said that sexual orientation is partof private life, an intimate aspect of private life. I would say that thatconcept of the Court has been written into article eight, so that is theargument that has succeeded and now it is just a question of applying it.… That is where we stand at the moment: pretty much we have aprinciple of non-discrimination. (R. W.)In cases where a national, federal or state constitution explicitlyprohibits sexual orientation based discrimination, the application ofnone of these three arguments is necessary. However, it is important tonote that there is only any real chance to put sexual orientation into theconstitution if it is being revised or a totally new one is being adopted,therefore in most of the countries it is not a very promising expectationto find the prohibition of sexual orientation based discrimination in theconstitution. In Hungary, for example, in 1989 a new general antidiscriminationclause was inserted into the old constitution but sexualorientation based discrimination is covered only by the generalumbrella term of “other situations”. 6State level constitutions prohibiting sexual orientation discriminationwere introduced first in two Brazilian states – in Mato Grosso and inSergipe – in 1989. The Brazilian example was followed by two Germanstates: Brandenburg in 1992, and Thuringia in 1993. The first nationallevel constitution that included reference to sexual orientationdiscrimination was the South African Act No. 200 of 1993, Section 8(2) (cf.Wintemute, 1995:265). At present there are altogether four countrieshaving national constitutions prohibiting sexual orientation baseddiscrimination including Ecuador (1997), Fiji (1998) and Portugal (2004).Nevertheless, it can still remain problematic to decide what sexualorientation based discrimination covers exactly: whether it refers todiscrimination against same-sex sexual activity, or it also coversdiscrimination against same-sex couples. While in Europe thedecriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity of consenting adults hasbeen becoming a legal norm cultivated by the European Union as wellas the Council of Europe, there are still some more or less interwoven6 For more details see: Chapter III.3.76

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