.- The French Constitutional Council has ruled that prohibiting same-sex âmarriageâ in the country does not violate the Constitution.
The council noted that only Parliament can change the law.
Nine judges ruled that according to articles 75 and 144 of the Civil Code, âMarriage is the union between one man and one woman.â They also noted that lawmakers, âacting within their competency, determined that the difference in status between same-sex couples and couples comprised of a man and a woman could justify a difference in treatment with regards to family law.â
âIt is not within the competence of the Constitutional Council to substitute its view (for that of the legislature) when taking into account the differences in these situations,â the judges said.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the prohibition against gay âmarriageâ by a lesbian couple. The women alleged that without a marriage, their four children would be without certain legal protections.
Corinne Cestino and Sophie Hasslauer, who have been living together for 14 years, stated that marriage âis the only solution to protect their children, to share parental authority, to regulate inheritance and custodial issues in the event that one of them was to die,â the French daily Le Figaro reported.
According to a recent survey carried by TNS Sofres, 58 percent of the French support gay âmarriage,â up from 45 percent in 2006.
The adoption of children by same-sex couples is supported by 49 percent, up from 30 percent in 2001.
Gay âmarriageâ is legal in the European countries of Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Spain.