'Homosexual propaganda' laws - the opinion of the Venice Commission

The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) has published its Opinion on the issue of the prohibition of so-called "Propaganda of homosexuality" in the light of recent legislation in some Council of Europe Member States.

The Venice Commission has stated that homosexual propaganda laws are incompatible with the ECHR because: they are not formulated with sufficient precision; the justifications given for them fail to satisfy the necessity and proportionality tests required by the ECtHR; they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. 

The Venice Commission draw upon a range of ECHR jurisprudence to support their argument that ‘the measures in question appear to be incompatible with “the underlying values of the ECHR”’.

This is a well reasoned decision that will prove very important in the months and years ahead.