Glossary beginning with S
- Same-sex marriage
The term same-sex marriage does not exist in reality. There is no country which has a specific marriage law solely for same-sex couples. The right term is marriage equality, as the aim is to open marriage laws to same-sex couples to give them the same rights as different-sex couples. See marriage equality.
- Same-sex relationships or couples
Covers relationships or couples consisting of two people of the same sex.
- Second parent adoption
Where a same-sex partner is allowed to adopt their partner’s biological child(ren).
Refers to biological makeup such as primary and secondary sexual characteristics, genes, and hormones. The legal sex is usually assigned at birth and has traditionally been understood as consisting of two mutually exclusive groups, namely men and women. However, "[t]he Court of Justice has held that the scope of the principle of equal treatment for men and women cannot be confined to the prohibition of discrimination based on the fact that a person is of one or other sex. In view of its purpose and the nature of the rights which it seeks to safeguard, it also applies to discrimination arising from the gender reassignment of a person." (This language comes from the preamble of the Gender Recast Directive 2006). In addition to the above, the legal definition of sex should also include intersex people.
- Sex characteristics
A term that refers to a person's chromosomes, anatomy, hormonal structure and reproductive organs. OII Europe and its member organisations recommend protecting intersex individuals by including sex characteristics as a protected ground in anti-discrimination legislation. This is because many of the issues that intersex people face are not covered by existing laws that only refer to sexual orientation and gender identity.
This is seen as being a more inclusive term than 'intersex status' by many intersex activists, as it refers to a spectrum of possible characteristics instead of a single homogenous status or experience of being intersex.
- Sexual orientation
Refers to each person’s capacity for profound affection, emotional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender.
- Strategic litigation
Strategic litigation is the use of court cases as part of a strategy to achieve broader legal and social change. In the case of ILGA-Europe, strategic litigation is about using European courts to advance the rights of LGBTI people, usually as part of a wider advocacy campaign. The use of European courts to ensure full recognition and implementation of human rights for everyone – irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics – is one of the working methods of ILGA-Europe to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Europe.
- Successive adoption
Where a same-sex partner is allowed to adopt their partner’s adopted child.
An arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or for another person.