A gay couple has filed a legal
challenge to have France recognize their Spanish marriage, France's
Manuel de Aguirre, a Spanish engineer
living in France since 1969, and Antonio Damieta, who holds dual
French and Spanish citizenship, were married last February in the
Spanish consulate in Cape Town, South Africa. Spain legalized gay
marriage in 2005.
The couple attempted to have their
union recognized upon their return to Paris, but were denied.
Gay marriage is not legal in France.
However, the government does recognize the marriages of gay and
lesbian foreigner nationals. Damietta's dual citizenship
disqualified the couple.
“France recognizes any foreigner who
is married according to the law of the country where the spouses were
married” except in cases where the marriage is considered an
“affront to public order,” de Aguirre said.
“This is a denial of my marital
status,” he added.
An attempt to legalize gay marriage was
blocked by President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP Party in June.
De Aguirre told Spanish new agency EFE
that he has written to presidential candidates about the issue,
raising the possibility that gay rights could become a factor in next
year's national elections.