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Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, E/CN.4/1999/68, 10 March 1999

15. One of the primary ways in which dominant familial ideology affects women, as well as men, is through dictates on sexuality. The European Court of Human Rights has recognized same sex marriage as an aspect of article 8, on the right to private life, of the European Convention. In 1994, the Human Rights Committee found that Tasmania’s discriminatory sodomy laws were a violation of articles 7(sic) and 2.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee read the category of “sex” in the list of prohibited bases for discrimination in articles 2 and 26 of that Covenant as covering sexual orientation. Asylum law in some countries has also recognized the need to bring sexual orientation within the gambit of international human right’s protection. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has recognized in an advisory opinion that lesbians and gay men constitute “members of a particular social group” for the purposes of refugee recognition.

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