France: Why Some Same Sex Couples Still Can’t Marry

Written by scott on October 9th, 2013

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You thought France had full marriage equality? Well, think again. There’s a big loophole. reports:

But some same-sex couples are discovering that they may be barred from marrying because of a quirk in French marital law, as RFI English reports: Frenchwoman Lise and her Polish girlfriend Agnieszka have been together for three years. They were looking forward to getting married after France this year became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage, following months of bitter debate.

“We were also really happy because it meant that we were accepted by the society,” Agnieszka said. “Then our relationship can be recognised, and we are not freaks or…”

“Different,” Lise added. But under a bilateral agreement signed between Poland and France in 1967, Agnieszka falls under Polish marriage law even while in France. Since Poland doesn’t recognise gay marriage, a French magistrate would have to overrule Polish law to approve the wedding.

According to, eleven countries have agreements with France that preclude same sex couples from marrying if one partner is from one of those countries: Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and Tunisia.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.


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