Two French women successfully circumvented France’s same-sex marriage ban on Saturday owing to the fact that one half of the couple is still classed as a man – in the legal sense only.

Stephanie Nicot, 59, married her 27-year-old partner Elise, in Nancy, at the city’s town hall in what is said to be a unique marriage in France.

Stephanie – formerly Stephane – underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a woman but has refused to submit the documents that French law requires to change her gender on the population register.

Ms Nicot said of her marriage: “It’s a symbol for millions of gays and lesbians who would like to have the same rights.”

The deputy major of Nancy, Laurent Henart, told the Associated French Press: “It’s the first marriage in France of its kind.”

The newly-married couple later joined around 2,000 members of the LGBT community for a march through the city.

The only note of regret, as mentioned by a guest, was that the marriage official “referred to Stephanie by her old, male name.”

In January, the French constitutional court upheld the country’s gay marriage ban, stating that it was in keeping with the constitution.

The ruling came in response to a bid by made a lesbian couple with four children. The couple wished to marry after a decade as civil partners.

Among European Union states, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal and the Netherlands have all legalised gay marriage.