Constitution doesn’t give the right, any person has the right. Gagik Harutyunyan

LGBTnews.am talked on LGBTI people rights with the President of the Constitutional Court Gagik Harutyunyan. The Q&A is fully presented below.

– Mister Harutyunyan, do you think that the Constitution of Armenia defines equal rights with other RA citizens for LGBTI persons?

– It is very clearly defined in the Constitution: both the right and the possible limitation. The question should be addressed as follows: not the Constitution that gives the right, any person has the right, which is constitutionally enshrined, and the Constitution defines preconditions on how these rights should be exercised. The Constitution has also defined Article 75 for the realization of that right, according to which, if certain limitations are envisaged, it is also necessary to establish such mechanisms and procedures in order that right will be realized. In our reality, people seem to misthink that their fundamental rights are given by the Constitution or authority.  Whereas, those rights are theirs, their directly applicable rights, regardless of the will and desire of any person. Simply, the question is what kind of legislative preconditions we create to guarantee the realization of those rights.

What legislative regulations exist in Armenia for LGBT people to realize, for example, their right to marry?

– Now they should be created, now is the process and the changes are in process. Currently, for example, we have at least 200 laws that are being amended, supplemented or adopted to make the Constitution operational.

– At that moment, is there such a legislative initiative that will allow LGBTI persons to exercise their right to marry later on?

– For this issue you can contact Ministry of Justice or the Government as, by the presidential decree, they have been instructed to implement the inventory of the legislation and to create appropriate legislative preconditions.

Do you agree that LGBTI persons have the right to marry, which should be exercised through appropriate legislation?

– I finished. Thank you, I finished.