ruled that the government of Bulgaria violated European human rights law by failing to legally recognize same-sex marriages, reports Human Rights Watch.Liliya Babulkova and Darina Koilova, two Bulgarian women who were legally wed in the United Kingdom in 2016, brought the case to the court three years ago, after Bulgarian authorities refused, multiple times, to recognize their marriage.The couple claimed, in their complaint, that the refusal to recognize their marriage is discriminatory and violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.The court found that the Bulgarian government violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to private and family life.The court — as it previously did with similar cases from Ukraine and Romania — ruled that Bulgaria must take some action to recognize same-sex relationships or remove discriminatory portions of its laws, although it did not require the country to take specific actions, such as legalize same-sex nuptials. It also ordered the government to pay 3,000 euros to the couple to cover legal costs.“The decision is fundamental for the development of Bulgarian legislation in the field of equality and LGBT rights,” a lawyer for the couple said in a statement.
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