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Sophie Aslawhere Is Leading France’s Fight to Overturn Marriage Ban

France’s Constitutional Court this week agreed to hear a case brought by a lesbian couple that challenges the country’s ban on same-sex marriage. With a suit from Sophie Aslawhere — who’s been with her partner for 15 years, and together they raise four children — says, “Our children are fed up of being treated as though they are on the margins of society. For example a few years ago when they held elections at our children’s school for a new parents’ organization, they didn’t accept my partner’s vote. That marginalizes our children and that shouldn’t happen.” The court will issue a decision in three months, meaning spring weddings could be around the corner!

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  • Andrew

    If both Australia and France legalize marriage equality it would be a massive victory!

  • kayla

    Ha Ha haha, the funny thing is the French think they’re so much more liberal than we, the troglodyte Americans. Just read “le Monde”!! But, I think hypocrisy is a Parisian art form!! All the fools in this country who think that America is sooo far behind Europe; well lookie here!! The liberal French don’t want you to get married either!! America is certainly not perfect, and needs marriage equality, but I’m truly sick of these Euro-trash hypocrites constantly turning their noses down at us as if they’re so much better!! I’ll give the Scandinavians credit where credit is due, but most of Western Europe aren’t as progressive as they seem to think they are!! People need to realize that there’s a different between being truly open minded and progressive and just being a bunch of whores, and as someone who speaks French and is quite familiar with French culture, the French are…well more whores than progressives. It’s true they don’t care who anyone, or even themselves [email protected]#k, but they have their other prejudices! Oh, and they don’t want you dirty queers adopting kids either, how’s that for progress!! Vive la France, Vive les putains!!

  • Cam


    You are right to a certain extent, but France is also dealing with a 10% Algerian minority that can tend to be VERY conservative. If they legalize this, and if Arabs in France start getting married it could really bode well for broader acceptance throughout Europes muslim population.

    But I have to agree with you, the Europeans are fantastic at ignoring their own problems in criticizing America.

  • kayla

    @Cam: Those close minded Muslims, didn’t seem to have much political clout, when it came to stopping the burka ban!! Don’t blame the Muslims for this one mon ami!! They can’t keep their women covered, do you think they could keep gays from getting married if the rest of France had come to a consensus?? Bien sur que non!

  • robert in nyc

    Kayla, even the UK is making noise about marriage equality. Already, the Liberal Democratic party now part of the coalition government has endorsed it as official policy; the new leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, has declared support for it and I’ve no doubt his party will endorse it to compete with the Liberal Democrats, and a handful of conservatives in Cameron’s government are on board. Neither of our two party leaders support marriage equality, unliked the Greens. I’m waiting for the Democratic party here to declare support, so far just a few of them, but I won’t hold my breath on that one. We could do a lot better but we’re not.

  • the crustybastard


    Absolute nonsense.

    French LGBT citizens can enter federally recognized registered domestic partnerships that have most of the legal rights afforded to marriage, including the ability to file taxes jointly. They can serve openly in the French armed services, they are protected from job discrimination, and antigay hate speech is a crime.

    While their laws are far from perfect, they are vastly better than ours.

    Furthermore, Ms Aslawhere is far more likely to get a fair hearing and a good outcome in France’s court of last resort than a marriage equality advocate will get at SCOTUS.

  • robert in nyc

    No. 6, The Crustybastard, actually the French version of civil unions called PACs offer far less than the British model, the civil partnership which confers all of the rights and privileges of marriage without the name. The French version has fewer rights but they are a lot better than we have here in the U.S. The British same-sex union allows gays, single or coupled to adopt and you don’t need to be in a civil partnership either; they can also bring in their foreign born partners with proof of dependency other than contract for a legal partnership, and of course gays in the UK can serve openly in the military which actively recruits them as does their police department. Hate speech against gay people or any minority is also a crime there when it incites violence. Aside from the ten countries that allow us to marry, the UK has done a lot more than most other western countries, including the U.S. when it comes to LGBT equality and certainly a lot more than France. I’ve no doubt in my mind that marriage equality will be legal in the UK, sooner rather than later given the population supports it by more than 61%. Its going to come, inevitable.

  • kayla

    @the crustybastard: I’m fully aware that France allows what amounts to domestic partnerships!! I’m also aware of the fact that gays can serve openly in France, as they do in Most of Europe, Canada, Israel and many other countries! My point is that the French consider themselves the arbiters of progressive values, the vanguard of all liberal movements and yet, they don’t allow marriage equality. The best they can come up with is a separate and unequal policy. If you don’t see the irony of “les francais liberals” compromising on this issue, then I do. And when it comes to gay adoption laws, it’s we Americans who are the progressives!!Most U.S. states allow single gays to adopt! It’s not allowed in France!! Oh the sweet irony!!

    As for hate speech laws. I happen to be a First Amendment fanatic, and think America is in the right on this particular issue. I’d rather live in a country where I may be verbally assaulted, as long as I have the right to say whatever I want in return, without fearing who I myself might offend!!Curtailing freedom of speech, even with good intentions, can lead to unseen negative consequences!! Since gay marriage has as of yet, never been put before the SCOTUS, why don’t we wait and see what happens before making such pronouncements!!

  • D.R.A.

    I wish Sophie and her partner the best of luck. It’s very good of them to do this.

    Now, to go a bit off topic…

    People always talk about marriage equality in Europe, but what about adoption? How many European countries allow gay couples to adopt?

  • robert in nyc

    Kayla, with the Supreme Court stacked with five republican, catholic justices, I don’t see how it would rule in favor of marriage equality. If the republicans take back the senate in 2012, forget about any progress on the issue. There are arguments for using the 14th amendment of the constitution to get marriage equality passed, but as we’ve seen with the Citizens United action, this current Supreme Court has no problem dismissing or overturning precedent. If the GOP makes a bigger comeback in 2012, you can kiss marriage equality goodbye and DOMA will remain in tact in those states that have it. Expect one more republican conservative to be appointed if they win big, assuming Ruth Bader Ginsberg is no longer around.

  • robert in nyc

    Kayla, so you would support hate speech even it incites someone to commit a violent act against us or anybody else and it ends up with someone being killed, you’d be ok with that? If you’re against a ban on any hate speech against minorities, then in a way it contributes indirectly to the commitment of such crimes, as abhorrent as you’d find it I’m sure.

    Regarding adoption by gays, the UK also allows adoption by single or partnered gays or straights, among other things. I assume you read my previous post?

  • L.

    @kayla: France allows single parents to adopt, whatever their sexual orientation. You may also want to brush up your French grammar. And multiple exclamation marks don’t an argument make either.

  • Joe

    Regardless about what country allows what; I gurantee you all this; France AND the UK will legalize gay marriage before the U.S. will. (that’s not an attack on the US or me being anti-American, it is simply the stating of a fact)

  • Steve

    And how is that different from the US? Land of the free, home of the brave? The US also claims to be the vanguard of freedom and progress. It’s anything but. On some issues it used to be, but it was behind even when abolishing slavery. Freedom of speech aside in some cases, today many European countries are far more advanced socially. Certainly when it comes to LGTB rights.

  • Andrew

    @Joe: That’s not a fair comparison at all. It is much easier for France and the UK to adopt laws like that because they operate as unitary states while the U.S. is a federation in which imposing laws onto the sub national entities requires much greater consensus and political maneuvering.

  • Andrew

    Which, by the way, is also why the more liberal areas of the US currently have marriage equality while the areas of the UK and France that would adopt marriage equality in a heartbeat are left with inferior solutions.

  • robert in nyc

    NO. 16, Andrew. Actually, gay married couples in the five states in the U.S. that have marriage equality do not enjoy FULL marriage equality at all, nor are they portable in the remaining 45 that have no semblance of equality. They only are entitled to states’ rights. In my state of New York, state rights number roughly four hundred. We have no marriage equality in my state but it recognizes those marriages from the five states and foreign countries. At the federal level, gay married couples do not enjoy the roughly eleven hundred rights and privileges that can only come through marriage and are reserved only for straight married couples. The UK and France wouldn’t have areas in which to adopt marriage equality, it would apply universally since they have a different political system altogether in the form of central government. At least the French and British same sex unions apply to their entire countries respectively and their gay citizens, ours don’t and probably won’t for decades to come.

    Joe, No. 13, I totally concur. Whether its easier for the UK and France or not to get marriage equality is beside the point and irrelevant. It boils down to the political parties supporting it and their will to do it. As of now, neither the Democrats or Republicans have indicated that they are supportive and neither of them endorse it as party policy and probably never will, except the Greens of course.

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