France OKs Foreign Gay Marriage

“Approval was given in the early hours of this morning by the National Assembly of the measure to have foreign legal same-sex marriages/unions/partnerships recognised in France as PACS. With the measure passing the Senate last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has 15 days to “promulgate” the measure into law. An amendment tabled by Christian Vanneste was dropped as the controversial politician failed to turn up. The passing of the measure in the French National Assembly was welcomed this morning in Brussels where both the European Union and the European Parliament had been pressing the French Government to recognise the legal status of same-sex couples who had registered their partnerships in another country.” [UK Gay News]

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  • Bruno

    i.e. Married gay couples can move to France to have their marriages declared “separate, but equal,” which is better than what it used to be: unrecognized whatsoever.

  • InExile

    The President of France Nickolas Sarkozy had promised to bring full civil unions once elected but did not. He did strengthen the PAX in regard to inheritance and other things and now this new development. This is good news for Bi-national couples because now they have another option of places to live. Too bad the US is not one of the options, we would love to move back home after living in exile in France for the last 3 years.

    We hope the Uniting American Families Act will pass or be included in the comprehensive immigration reform to end the nightmare for bi-national couples. Currently it is sitting in the Congress and Senate Judiciary Committees after being reintroduced on February 14, 2009.

  • rogue dandelion

    PACS is becoming increasingly popular in France among younger opposite sex couples, i think they are moving in the right direction on this issue.

  • Ian

    Yes, we need to call our representatives to encourage them to pass the Uniting American Families Act. Immigration affects our community in a very special way, so please take time to get involved.

  • Robert, NYC

    Though this is a step forward, in reality its not a huge deal. Let me explain. For example, if a gay couple legally marries outside of France and then resides there, their marriages though recognized do not entitle that couple to have the same rights as straight French married couples, big difference, they are downgraded to PACs, France’s limited version of civil unions. Similarly, the UK’s civil partnerships that confer all the rights of marriage without the name within the UK, mean nothing in terms of reciprocity with the French version, that actually confer very few rights of marriage. Its a mess and the only way to resolve it once and for all is to allow same-sex marriage across the entire EU but that would need to be mandated, an uphill battle for sure.

  • InExile

    Another point is this new change mainly benefits citizens of the European Union. An American couple would not qualify for the right to stay unless one of the partners is French or from a European Union state.

  • Robert, NYC


    Yes, correct. However, in regard to the UK for instance, I believe non-EU citizens are entitled to form a civil partnership if one of them lives and resides there. Most other EU countries that have other unions outside of marriage require that one be a national of the country. The only country in the EU that recognizes the UK’s civil partnerships fully is Spain and both have a reciprocal agreement between the two countries, although gay Spanish marriages are recognized only as civil partnerships in the UK as are all same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. If the EU mandated that same-sex marriages performed elsewhere in the union must be fully recognized in all member states with all the rights that are inherent in marriage, then that would pave the way for full marriage equality across the entire EU. I think eventually that will happen as more EU countries abandon civil unions/partnerships for marriage. I predict Denmark and Finland will be next.

  • M st-Jacques

    mais ce n’est pas juste! un mariage est un mariage pas une union civile..!

  • strumpetwindsock

    @M st-Jacques:

    Perhaps it is good, because it is a step closer to real recognition, but it is a shame they are only taking this half-step.

    I think they either don’t want to or don’t have the guts to do what they ultimately have to do – recognize marriage as marriage.

    To use the “union civile” name instead of “marriage” will just create an unbalanced situation that will have to be fought out in the courts, and sooner or later the government will have to do it the right way.

    They have only postponed the inevitable.

  • TANK

    Christian Vanneste is a swine.

  • Robert, NYC


    Hi Strumpetwindsock! I think Sarkozy will be a one term president. With him out of the picture, maybe Segolene Royal and others like her will return to politics and get elected. Under conservative governments, its going to be virtually impossible to get marriage equality passed. There need to be more Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on board for marriage equality before we see any major change in the EU as a whole. Its going to come, inevitable as more western EU countries abandon the different legal unions currently available for gay citizens outside of marriage. If 10 or one third of EU countries enact same-sex marriage (already 5), I think it will have a snowball effect and possibly impact the movement in the U.S. instead of the reverse which is what some in the U.S. are saying. This is one area on which the U.S. has never been the leader or innovator either.


    My partner moved to Paris for work. French do not or at least did not recognize our partnership. I sought paid legal advice in london from a immigration lawyer specialized in e.u. law, he informed me to just go as the consulate will not issue but that in the law you and partner have treaty rights.

    I arrived to find this is untrue as on the ground they just don;t recognize or at least a year ago did not.

    Forced to find a way to stay with my partner, I spent my life savings on a school 7000 euros. I was then given right to remain for a year and the clock is ticking, visa ending soon. My partners industry has since seen record job losses in London and we fear we may have no options. If we stay, I may become an illegal. I am not comfortable with breaking law and want to just be happy with my partner. Recently seen talk they will accept civil partnerships for inheritance purposes but fear our lack of rights are going to cause us to suffer.

    I have notice in this thread that their may be some hope that it is going to be recognized but there are some post on the thread which cast a more sceptical view on this.

    I am worried and with low job prospects in my partners field at home, we may need to give up our life in Europe we built over 5 years and relocate to Canada and live in my parents basement until work can be found. Going from two gay guys in love working and contributing to exile in Canada living off my parents. It looks like my worst nightmare.

    This message is long but we are in need of information and guidance as information regarding right to abode and to stay with my partner is such a topic which is hard to get any info and often conflicting info, such as my paid lawyer in London gave me.

    Does anyone no info that my be pertinent to our case?

    Thank you so much if you even made it to the end of this long winded cry for help and for any assistance you could afford.

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