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French straight couples opt for civil unions over marriage

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  1. douglas in canada 17 Dec 2010, 4:16pm

    could someone please offer more clarification of the differences between the two options?

  2. French PACS are not the same as UK civil Partnerships and neither institutions are portable.

    The important thing is having a choice between a marriage or a PACS … as far as I’m aware French same sex couples do not have access to marriage so there is still rampant discrimination that needs to be addressed.

    PACS are not recognised in UK, they are not the equivalent of UK Civil Partnerships.

  3. de Villiers 17 Dec 2010, 4:32pm

    > there is still rampant discrimination

    The word rampant, I am sure, comes from the old-French “ramper” meaning to crawl. I think that rampant, in English, means continuing to spread unchecked.

    A French PACS is different to a marriage in that there are no ongoing rights to maintenance after dissolution (unlike marriage), the rights of inheritance are not automatic and the rights to welfare benefits are not the same.

  4. Peter & Michael 17 Dec 2010, 4:54pm

    This is why we have supported the ideal of Same-Sex Civil Marriage instead of Civil Partnerships. We have written to our Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich explaining that our Civil Partnership is not recognised outside the UK and the NHS, to date we have not had a reply! A Civil Partnership is not worth the paper it is written on.

  5. de Villiers, I used rampant as in unrestrained.

  6. de Villiers 17 Dec 2010, 5:16pm

    You’re probably right on the meaning. I usually get English words wrong when they are false friends.

  7. This only makes it that more urgent to grant same-sex couples to civil marriage. Its absurd banning straights and gays from either option.

    Pavlos, some countries recognise CPs, Canada does, so does Holland and Spain I believe. That said, CPs are never equal no matter how many rights of marriage they confer. They will NEVER received universal recognition either, only marriage achieves that. Already, we have ten countries granting access to civil marriage for gay couples. There aren’t even two countries with identical rights for gay couples, not even Ireland where gay civil partnered couples will not be allowed to adopt children for starters. Civil marriage equality for gays and CP equality for opposite sex couples is the only way to achieve equality in the UK. I think it will come as more countries overtake us. Finland next year, maybe Luxembourg, possibly Denmark. If Sarkozy is booted out of office and Merkel too in Germany, I think those two countries will follow suit. The Tories should prove just how pro equality they are by introducing a paper for full marriage equality at least. It would be the first major piece of equality legislation ever introduced voluntarily by a British government with out being mandated by the EU. All of us must be proactive and light a fire under Cleggs, Cameron’s and Miliband’s arses as well as that useless Summerskill. StonewallUK still has not mentioned one word on its website. Its up to us, all of us to keep up the pressure, incessantly.

  8. Pavlos – gay CP/PACS/unions etc are equated to CPs in the UK and have full legal rights , straights ones are NOT – – no-one is challening the non recognition of foreign straight CP/PACS etc in the UK ….the equal love campaign does not include such a couple and note foreign PACS/CP etc are open to British nationals as well…

    One interesting thing in France which appeared in connexion last month is this – it will be interesting if anybody knows more info? – it’s funny how people think the UK has gay marriage !!!!

    “Court to look at gay marriage ban
    November 17, 2010
    FRANCE’S constitutional court is to rule on whether gay marriage should remain illegal.

    The country’s highest appeal court, the Cour de Cassation, asked the Conseil Constitutionnel to look at the Code Civil articles that exclude same-sex marriages.

    It follows a plea on behalf of individuals in Reims who said that article 75 and 144 of the Code Civil were illegal for limiting the “personal freedom” of a citizen to marry someone of the same sex.

    The Cour de Cassation said it was directing the query to Les Sages of the Conseil Constitutionnel because the question of same-sex marriage was “new” and “serious” and the subject of a large debate in society, because it was allowed in several other countries, such as Britain, Holland, Portugal and Spain”

  9. Ah, see those wicked French heterosexuals, undermining the institution of marriage.

  10. douglas in canada – British CP/marriages v PACS

    “un régime de communauté universelle entre les partenaires,”

    PACS – “un régime de séparation de biens.”

    PACS more of a contract rather than a pooling of resources – the concept is different between the two – but the UK and France ignore this, the UK makes a PACS a CP and France makes a CP a PACS…

  11. Can someone please explain me how a country can prohibit religious ceremonies for civil partners? The priest gets arrested by police or what?

  12. So, in Spain, everybody can marry. In France, straights can marry and unite under PACs, while gays can only have PACs. In the UK, the system is more in tune with the real apartheid. Still way to go…

  13. And all this mess has been created to appease bigots.

  14. it would be great to have a PACS system in the UK (open to all). They’re much less hassle than a marriage and a CP . Give marriage for all and a PACS system!! – CPs don’t give anybody anything new really, PACS is a real alternative to marriage, CPs aren’t so why would anybody bother with them if we had marriage….CPs are just something they gave gays to shut them up becuase people like Tebbit and the Bishops couldn’t face giving us marriage…I think gays should have marriage in France but at least I can see they have much more of a levering point with PACS to get marriage eventually since there are major difference between the two… I’m sick of being told why do you want marriage when CPs have the same rights and now the gay orgs and govt are trying to get us relgious CPs, there really won’t be much difference then – ask for marriage instead!!!

  15. Beberts wrote: “And all this mess has been created to appease bigots.
    Absolutely, LGBT’s have been stitched up well and truly, appeasing bigots by making life as inconvenient for gays as possible while still appearing to throw a few crumbs of what might be mistaken for tolerance.

  16. John, You make a lot of sense.

    Give LGBT’s equal access to marriage and then… as far as I’m concerned, they can invent as many near marriage institutions as they like so long as they are available to all couples and so long as they are portable.

  17. de Villiers 18 Dec 2010, 10:30am

    > The priest gets arrested by police or what?

    Not quite. The right to a CP is conferred by an English statute sub modo. That is, the right is subject to qualification. The right can be exercised only when certain steps are performed or followed in a specified manner.

    A CP is a statutory concept. It will be valid, that is not void or voidable, only when performed in accordance with the relevant statutory enactment. If the CP is performed other than in accordance with the precise terms of the enactment, it will be void or voidable.

    The legislation or accompany statutory instruments makes clear that there can be no religious content to the ceremony. If there were to be such content, the civil partnership would be rendered void or voidable.

    No priest would be arrested for performing the ceremony as such activity is not a criminal offence. However, the ceremony would become void or voidable as the performance of the process would not be in accordance with the law granting the powers.

  18. one important difference is – as far as i am aware – the PACS doesn’t allow for entry visas to non-French partners

    The French had one of the first partnerships in europe but also one of the weakest forms

  19. maybe the confusion is deliberate so that governments don’t need to recognise other EU nation partnerships

    a long way to go before equality – GET THAT STONEWALL !!

  20. “Absolutely, LGBT’s have been stitched up well and truly”

    Exactly – and the closeness of CPs to marriage makes it harder to push for marriage. I think that was done deliberately with an eye to the future when we might start asking for access to civil marriage – “Why do you need that? Look – CPs are almost the same.” And now the idiocy about religious CPs again further entrenches the idea that CPs are ‘what gay people have’. Separate but equal is offensive.

    I agree too that the answer is to have civil marriage open to all with the option of whatever ‘partnership’ things people might want instead there too. That pleases everyone – except the bigots, of course, who’ll NEVER be satisfied.

  21. John, with respect, French PACs are not as equal to CPs because they confer fewer rights. A French gay couple who have formed a PAC would gain far more rights under CP recognition in the UK, whereas a British CP’d couple would not be accorded the exact same rights inherent in their union if they resided in France. There is a big difference between the two. That’s why its absurd trying to make the EU recognise all unions other than same-sex marriage because each country has its own set of rights within those extremely varying degrees of legal unions. Its not even about parity because there really isn’t any unless one is married. Its the universal gold standard, there is no other and there never will be whether some don’t want marriage or not. None of those other unions will ever be universal for gay couples.

    As Pavlos correctly states…”French PACs are not the same as UK Civil Partnerships”.

  22. Anonymous MD 18 Jan 2011, 12:35am

    This article is a great contribution to the gay marriage debate. I understand that their are two very heated sides to the Gay Marriage debate; however, I have a book that proposes a third. Below is a synopsis:

    The solution is finally here! The solution is found in “Gays Ain’t Got a Civil Right to Get Married! (neither do straights)”—a book that takes a third stance on the gay marriage debate. This book solves the problem of how gays can have all the legal rights and responsibilities that current-day marriage affords, and how the right-wing religious folks can protect the sanctity of their religions. No sacrificing. No compromising. Make it fair for everyone by admitting that gays ain’t got a civil right to get married and neither do straights. By removing civil rights from marriage we re-separate church and state and reallocate civil rights and religious rights. Nobody has a problem with modern-day baptisms or funerals. Baptisms and birth certificates, along with funerals and death certificates already lay out a structure of how religious ceremonies can coexist with civil rights. Anonymous, MD approaches marriages and civil unions with a similar methodology. A marriage should not be a civil right for anyone. A marriage should be a commitment that defines a non-legal relationship. A civil union should be a commitment that defines a legal relationship. A civil union should be a civil right for anyone. Civil unions are not scary, are not marriages, and should be required for anyone seeking legal relationship status. Anonymous, MD takes you through a personal journey to demonstrate how this issue affects everyone—even those who are not on one of the two hotly contested sides. Anonymous, MD is neither for or against gay marriage but cannot tolerate the lack of logic that is used to frame the current debate; therefore, Anonymous, MD offers examples of canon law and civil rights, politicians and prostitutes, Catholics and Mormons, S/M and incense, foreskin and fidelity, and gay sex and the afterlife to graphically illustrate the sensibly simple solution.

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