While the British government begins accepting public comment on whether to let same-sex couples marry, two legal decisions from elsewhere in Europe today offer an interesting look at how countries are approaching LGBT rights at different paces.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that France did not discriminate when it prevented a lesbian couple from both becoming their daughter’s legal parents. The court simply upheld France’s laws, which prevent unmarried couples from adopting together, apparently disregarding the injustice that France does not allow for same-sex marriage. It’s unclear what “human rights” the court stands for, but in this case they did not seem to include family security.
The Italian Supreme Court took a slightly different position when it ruled that a same-sex couple married in another country could not have their marriage legally recognized in Italy. Nevertheless, the court said the two men still had the “right to a family life,” which could open future possibilities for gay rights in that country.
The European Union has been increasingly committed to LGBT rights, but these decisions suggest that it is still leaving room for individual countries to work toward recognizing same-sex families in their own ways.
Inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive will be visiting sites throughout February and March where refurbishment or repair works are being carried out. This is part of a national month-long drive to improve standards in one of the Britain’s most dangerous industries.Their primary focus will be high-risk activity such as working at height and also ‘good order’ such as ensuring sites are clean and tidy with clear access routes. The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in construction that poor standards are unacceptable, and could result in enforcement action.
Philip White, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, said:
“The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers, all too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference.
“Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”