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Secretary of the Venice Commission: there is no European common standard on defining marriage

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 Secretary of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Thomas Markert said on Friday that there is no European common standard on defining marriage, but the principle of non-discrimination must be observed. 

"We have no European common standard on defining marriage. In many countries, marriage is between a man and a woman, same as in Romania, under the Civil Code. In other countries, gay marriage is allowed. We, the Venice Commission, haven't dealt with this situation, but we must rely on European standards. In other cases, we said there is a margin of the countries to decide on this question, but the ECHR decisions must be observed. According to these, the non-discrimination principle must be observed, which means that in most countries there will be the need for legislating at least a partnership for same sex persons, if marriage isn't allowed," Markert said at the Cotroceni Palace, where he is attending an international conference. 

He pointed out that he cannot make prior statements and that it isn't the role of the Venice Commission to dictate states what to do. 

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Monday, April 10, 2017