French High Court Rejects Marriage Of Gay Couple
Tuesday, March 13th 2007, 9:25 pm
News On 6
PARIS (AP) _ France's highest court Tuesday rejected as unlawful the first marriage by a gay couple in France, annulling the union of the two men.
Stephane Charpin and Bertrand Charpentier were married in a civil ceremony on June 5, 2004, in Begles, a town in the southwest Bordeaux region. The government immediately said the union was outside the law, and a series of court decisions unfavorable to the couple followed.
In the latest decision, the court ruled that ``under French law, marriage is a union between a man and a woman,'' backing a 2005 decision by an appeals court in Bordeaux.
No other gay couple has married in France since Charpin and Charpentier's 2004 union.
Prosecutor Marc Domingo said during an earlier court hearing that it was the parliament, not judges, who should have the final word in any legalization of marriages involving homosexual couples.
The couple said after the 2005 appeals court ruling that they would take their case to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. It was not immediately clear whether they would do so.
The lower court that initially rejected the marriage noted that gay couples in France are already covered by legislation that grants non-married cohabiting couples of the same or opposite sexes some rights enjoyed by married couples.