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French Supreme Court Rejects Gay Marriage

John on March 14, 2007 at 9:59 pm

From the AP, with a tip of the hat to my friend Scott at Magic Statistics:

France’s highest court Tuesday rejected as unlawful the first marriage by a gay couple in France, annulling the union of the two men.

Stephane Charpin and Bertrand Charpentier were married in a civil ceremony on June 5, 2004, in Begles, a town in the southwest Bordeaux region. The government immediately said the union was outside the law, and a series of court decisions unfavorable to the couple followed.

In the latest decision, the court ruled that “under French law, marriage is a union between a man and a woman,” backing a 2005 decision by an appeals court in Bordeaux.

The Baptist Press adds:

The men, though, say they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. The Begles mayor, Noel Mamere, is supporting them in their legal battle. Mamere was suspended from his mayoral duties for one month because he officiated at the ceremony.

“I was actually enforcing the European Convention for Human Rights which prohibits any discrimination when I performed the marriage in June 2004,” he told BBC News.

Speaking of the Beeb, they headline their version of the story “French Gay Marriage Fight Goes On.” Talk about burying the lede. Actually it’s worse. The link from their Europe page is titled “French Gay Marriage Setback.” Not that they’re taking sides or anything. In any case, the BBC story also has this interesting tidbit:

The two men, Stephane Chapin and Bertrand Charpentier, have said they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights…

Chapin and Charpentier were given suspended jail sentences in February 2007 for stealing 4,000 euros form their 80-year old landlady, part of which they used to purchase their wedding suits.

My question: Why in the world were the sentences suspended?

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Category: Marriage & Family |

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