French-Moroccan gay couple win right to marry in France

Binational couples are celebrating after a Court of Appeal overturns a decade old agreeement between France and Morocco allowing same-sex couples from those two countries to marry

French-Moroccan gay couple win right to marry in France
22 October 2013

A French-Moroccan gay couple have won the right to marry in France today (22 October).

Dominique, 55 and Mohammed, a younger visiting student, were victorious at the Court of Appeal in Chambery allowing them to stay married.

The couple, who obtained a PACS civil union in March and were originally married in September, had their marriage overturned by a local court.

For when France legalized same-sex marriage in May, agreements we brought up from decades ago banning any ex-patriots from 11 countries marrying under the new law.

In the court case held today, the prosecution used an agreement from 1981 between Morocco and France banning gay marriage between the two countries.

They claimed international conventions have a higher authority under the French Constitution than the ‘Marriage for All’ law passed this year.

The defense however implored the marriage law was changed for the ‘French international public policy’ – effectively excluding that French-Moroccan agreement.

With the agreement being overturned, this sets a precedent giving hope to all binational gay couples living in France.

An estimated seven to 15.3 million LGBTs who could potentially marry a French partner were denied due to these previous decrees.

These were people from Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia as well as the region of Kosovo.

While France has accepted same-sex marriage, Morocco has not.

Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid has said Morocco was ‘radically opposed’ to recognizing any marriage between two gay people from the different counries.

Acceptance would be ‘impossible’ as it ‘threatens public order in Morocco,’ he said, noting homosexuality is still punishable from a fine to three years in prison.

The first gay French couple married in Montpelier on 29 May.

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