A lesbian couple's challenge to
France's ban on gay marriage is headed to the nation's Constitutional
The court was ordered to take up the
case by the country's Court of Cassation, roughly equivalent to a
supreme court, on Tuesday.
Gay marriage “is today the subject of
a broad debate within society, notably because of the evolution of
morals and the recognition of same-sex marriages by the laws of
several foreign countries,” the judges wrote in their ruling.
French gay activists believe the court
will side with them, making France the eighth European country to
legalize the institution. The tiny island of Iceland (pop. 320,000)
joined the ranks of Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden
and Portugal when it legalized gay marriage last summer.
“This would allow us, first of all,
to abolish the sexuality hierarchy and put an end to the idea that
heterosexuality is superior,” Laurence Weber, president of Execo
(Equal), told RTL radio. “That's the principle of the thing. But
legalizing gay marriage would also make life a lot easier for many
gay couples on a practical level.”
France is among the European countries
that recognize gay unions with civil partnerships, which offer some
or all of the rights and obligations of marriage.