The highest court in Switzerland has refused to recognise two gay men as the legitimate fathers of a child born to a surrogate mother in the United States in 2011. The child was conceived through artificial insemination of a woman in California, using the sperm of one of the two partners. The Federal Supreme Court ruled that the sperm donor and the surrogate mother must be officially registered as the child’s parents, holding that the US birth certificate naming the two men as the child’s legal parents cannot be recognised in Switzerland. The couple’s lawyer said that the ruling was not in the best interests of the child. The decision struck down the ruling of a Saint Gallen administrative court which had previously recognised the foreign birth certificate despite the fact that surrogacy and adoption by same-sex couples are illegal in Switzerland, arguing that the child’s well-being should be the paramount consideration in the case. The couple’s last avenue for appeal now lies with the European Court of Human Rights.
Rights groups have said a new law in Myanmar, which requires some mothers to keep a three-year space between the births of their children, discriminates against religious minorities. Signed by President Thein Sein last week, the government says the birth-spacing law is a healthcare bill which aims to bring down maternal and infant mortality rates. But it has been criticised by rights groups for particularly targeting the minority Muslim population in the State of Rakhine, and could lead to further tensions between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Yangon-based Triangle Women Support Group founder Khin Lay stated that the law “targets one religion, one population, in one area.” The Buddhist ultra-nationalist group the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, which has welcomed the new law, has been fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment by saying that Muslim communities will overrun the country due to their alleged higher birth rates. Myanmar has long been criticised for systematic human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.
Bron: CRINmail 1430, 27 mei 2015