A French court on Tuesday ruled that a Franco-Moroccan gay couple could marry, rejecting a government argument that same-sex marriages with nationals of 11 countries, including Morocco, were banned due to bilateral agreements.
A French court on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for a Franco-Moroccan gay couple to marry, going against a government ruling that homosexuals from Morocco and 10 other countries cannot tie the knot.
France legalised same-sex marriage in May after months of intense and sometimes violent protests, and the couple -- Dominique and Mohammed -- immediately got to work planning their official union for September in the town of Jacob-Bellecombette in the Alps.
But just two days before the wedding, prosecutors in the nearby city of Chambery ruled it could not go ahead.
They cited a government circular stating that nationals from 11 countries, including Morocco, Poland and Laos, were not allowed to marry people of the same sex in France.
All 11 ban gay marriage and had signed agreements with France whereby a citizens in a binational couple must obey his or her own nation's marriage law.
But on October 11, a court in Chambery ruled that Dominique and Mohammed -- who asked for their last names not to be published -- could marry.
That court pointed to a clause in the agreement with Morocco that exempts France from having to comply with Morocco's national marriage laws if they are "obviously incompatible with public order."
An appeal lodged by prosecutors was rejected on Tuesday, a decision that could create a precedent and allow gay citizens of the 11 countries concerned to tie the knot in France.
Legalising gay marriage was an election pledge of Socialist President Francois Hollande, who faced a huge backlash from the opposition right and the powerful Catholic Church.
Tensions over same-sex marriage in France
- Baffled by Brexit?
- Rousseff defends her track record
- After 30-year ban, gay men in France allowed to donate blood
- Venezuela crisis: Political war and deepening economic chaos
- Mexico’s president proposes allowing gay marriage nationally
- Italian MPs pave way to legalising same-sex civil unions
- Film show: 'Demolition', 'The Visitors' and 'The Sociologist and the Bear Cub'
- Italian anti-gay marriage protest draws tens of thousands
- FRANCE 24 retrospective: The top 15 stories of 2015
- Slovenians reject same-sex marriage in referendum
- Church synod approves compromise on love, sex and marriage
- Pope secretly met gay marriage row clerk Kim Davis on US trip
- Court slams French official over refusal to marry gay couple
- Ireland on the eve of gay marriage vote
- Ireland votes in historic referendum on same-sex marriage
- Anti-gay marriage leader sends ‘best wishes' to France’s first gay newlyweds
- France's first gay marriage takes place in Montpellier
- Passions flare ahead of France’s first gay marriage
- France’s anti-gay marriage movement eyes next battle
- François Hollande signs same-sex marriage into law
- Clashes erupt in Paris after gay marriage legalised
- French parliament legalises gay marriage, adoption
- Warning sent to politician as gay marriage vote nears
- France to hold first gay wedding amid tight security
- In French gay marriage debate, a political star is born
The first gay marriage in France was held on May 29 in the southern city of Montpellier, which has a gay-friendly reputation.
But many die-hards have continued to oppose the measure. Some mayors argue that the lack of an opt-out violates the French constitution, which stipulates that freedom of conscience is a fundamental human right.
Several have refused to conduct gay marriages on the grounds it goes against their beliefs, but on Friday, the Constitutional Council -- France's top court -- ruled they cannot do this.
One gay couple in the southwestern town of Arcangues, where the mayor repeatedly refused to marry them, has now decided to sue him for damages.
Date created : 2013-10-22