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Binational gay couple banned from marrying in France

Binational gay couple banned from marrying in France

A French-Moroccan couple have been banned from marrying in France.

The couple, only identified as Dominique, 55, and Mohammed, a younger student visiting from Morocco, hoped to get married in Chambery on 11 October.

When France legalized gay marriage in May, agreements were signed with several countries banning any ex-patriots from several countries from marrying under the new law.

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

With a total estimate of anything from seven to 15.3 million LGBT people living in these countries, they are all banned from marrying a partner living in France.

Lawyer Didier Besson hoped to break new ground by challenging the law, claiming this was the first time a Moroccan and a French national has attempted to obtain a same-sex marriage license.

The local court pointed out the wording of the French law contradicts the agreement, saying only one potential spouse needs to reside where the law allows the marriage.

Due to the way the law is worded, it ‘implicitly but necessarily’ changes the situation and overrules the agreement between France and Morocco.

However, a public prosecutor has now blocked the first French-Moroccan marriage. Dominique and Mohammed are appealing against the decision.

According to Radio France Internationale, agreements were signed decades ago but are only now coming into force.

‘When a marriage is planned between two people of the same sex, and one of the future spouses is an expatriate from one of those countries, the civil registrar cannot perform the marriage,’ a recommendation note sent to French civil servants said.

Recently a Polish man and his French boyfriend were also refused a marriage license at a court in Nice.

The Polish man, who did not want to be named, described the rule as ‘outdated’ and ‘unfair’.

‘As millions of gay people in France now have the right to marry, we’re still denied,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘It’s an outdated and unfair rule that because my home country is still homophobic, we have to suffer the consequences.’

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