France to upgrade couple recognition

Timothy Kincaid

January 13th, 2012

Of those European nations which offer recognition to their same-sex couples, France’s form, Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS), is probably the weakest. And while they do offer protections and rights and there are some amusing advantages to a nation providing such a structure (many young heterosexual couples enter PACS as a sort of pre-marriage tryout), they simply do not provide equality. Gay couples are stuck in the “tryout” phase.

But that seems likely to change.

A poll to be released tomorrow will show that about two-thirds of the French (63%) support opening marriage to same-sex couples. And French politicians are scrambling to show that they are in alignment with the will of the French people. (Bloomberg)

Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party candidate and front- runner before the two-round election in April and May, supports homosexual marriage and will add it to his platform, Manuel Valls, head of communication for the Socialist campaign, said on RMC radio today.

And President Nicolas Sarkozy, while continuing to oppose same-sex marriage, has discovered a new-found interest in establishing a civil union provision that contains all of the rights, privileges, and duties of marriage.

Regardless of who wins which position in French Government, it is inevitable that the shame of offering less liberté, égalité, or fraternité than their ancient frenemies the Spanish, Dutch and British (especially the British) will eventually lead to change.

paul canning

January 13th, 2012

You missed that Sarkozy has been consistently rumoured to be planning to come out for marriage equality in his re-election bid – supposedly inspired by David Cameron’s comments on Cameron supporting it *because he is a conservative.

Other Fred in the UK

January 14th, 2012

It is against the English, not Scots, Welsh or N. Irish, that the French hold ancient enmity and vice versa. Do not forget the ‘auld alliance’ between France and Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots was first married to the Dauphin of France and would have been Queen of France, as well as of Scots, had he not died before he succeeded to the French throne.


January 14th, 2012

My how times are a’changin. Seems like just yesterday that gay rights and marriage equality were wedge issues where WE were the boogy man to be feared like the plague and any legislation attached to us would draw the masses to the polls to vote against us. Now it seems that we are becoming the golden goose that politicians have to pander to (or at least avoid attacking) in order to win elections.

Let’s just call it the age of the “Golden Gander Pander”.


January 14th, 2012

@OFIUK, we Scots have an ancient enmity when it comes to the English as well.


January 17th, 2012

Let’s just cross our fingers for Hollande to win the election. That way we can jump from PACS straight to full marriage equality, avoiding the potential civil union limbo stage that another Sarkozy term would bring. It’s better than PACS, but get a good socialist like Hollande in there and he’ll push for marriage equality all the way. Sarkozy will be half-assed about it, I’m quite sure.

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