French court upholds ban on homosexual marriage

PARIS: A French court on Friday upheld a ban on homosexual marriage citing two articles in the French civil code, Radio France Internationale reported.

The fore mentioned articles state that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The case was referred to the constitutional court after a lesbian couple intended to get marry after 10 years living together.

The court remarked that Parliament lawmakers are the only ones who can decide whether the legislation should be changed. Gay couples enjoy tax benefits and other advantages but not the benefits from marriage.

Corrine Cestino and Sophie Hasslauer have been battling for ten years to get married. The two women have been in a relationship for around 14 years. They have lived 10 years in a civil union and have four children.

The lesbian couple decided to take their case to France's highest constitutional court to be recognizes as a marriage rather than a civil partnership, known as "pacs." The French government introduced "pacs" in 1999 after gay rights protests.

Currently, nine European Union member states allow same-sex couples to marry. Such countries are Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Sweden.

In the United Kingdom, gay and lesbian couples are allowed to civil unions and have the same rights as heterosexual marriages. A recent poll showed that 58 percent of French citizens are in favor of gay marriage while 35 percent are against.


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