French Conseil Constitutionnel Hears Marriage Equality Case

19 Jan 2011

France, 18 January 2011 -The French Conseil Constitutionnel is today considering whether the ban on same sex marriage is constitutional. A French same sex couple, Corinne Cestino, a paediatrician, and Sophie Hasslauer, a teacher, who have been together for 13 years and have four children. have challenged the ban on same sex marriage. The couple entered into a pacte civil de solidarité ten years ago and planned three of their four children together. The Conseil Constitutionnel will make its decision on January 28.

The couple utilised a new procedure last May that allows citizens to challenge the constitutionality of laws. The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Reims, forwarded their application to the Court of Cassation, which asked the Constitutional Council to rule on the constitutionality of the law.

Their lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Ludot explained that "they want to get married because they consider it an essential tool for building a family"where gay marriage is frowned upon in public opinion and parties. "If one of us dies, our children are not protected," Corinne and Sophie explained to the press, "He calls me 'mom' but I am nothing to him".