FRANCE: Some Binational Gay Couples Cannot Marry Due To Decades-Old Treaties
Some binational couples have been barred from marrying in France due to decades-old treaties signed with eleven nations where same-sex marriage remains illegal. Radio France Internationale reports:
In a circulaire (recommendation note) presented to French civil servants stipulating how the new marriage law should be applied, the note stated that nationals from 11 countries are subjected to marriage laws in their home countries because of bilateral conventions signed in the past with France. The countries affected are: Poland, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Cambodia, Laos, Tunisia and Algeria. These countries do not recognise gay marriage. This exception applies even if their partner is French, or has French residency rights. “When a marriage is planned between two people of the same sex, and one of the future spouses is a national of one of these countries, the civil registrar cannot perform the marriage,” the note said.Some of the bilateral accords date back to the 1950s. Activists are petitioning the French Justice Ministry.