Securing a Future for Children: The International Custom to Protect the Natural Family
Ave Maria School of Law
April 19, 2006
20, Num. 15 DÍKAION - LO JUSTO 391 (2006) - Universidad de la Sabana
The author argues that Art. 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become customary international law, and therefore, all States are obliged to promote, protect and give preference to the natural family based on marriage between one male and one famale (in nuclear or extended family arrangement) over so-called "new family forms" (e.g. cohabitating opposite-sex and/or same-sex couples). This means that States breach their obligation under Art. 16(3) when they treat so-called alternative forms of families as equivalent to the family based on heterosexual marriage (i.e. giving the same benefits). The paper uses Canada as a case study to illustrate how it has breached its obligations. The author considers how and why the Canadian federal government has contributed to the crisis of the natural family in Canada as manifested through increasing rates of separation and divorce as well as of alternative family forms (i.e. cohabitation arrangements and so forth) and their treatment as equivalent to the natural family.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 58
Keywords: family, marriage, same-sex, human rights, customary international law
Date posted: July 21, 2012 ; Last revised: November 27, 2012