France: Court rules that gay Moroccan can marry French partner

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A court in France has ruled that a Moroccan should be allowed to marry their French same-sex partner, in spite of a long-standing convention between the two countries.

The Franco-Moroccan couple had taken their case to court, after learning that despite France’s equal marriage laws, they remained banned from marrying.

France and Morocco signed an agreement in 1981 that says that Franco-Moroccan marriages are subject to the laws of their respective countries.

Though France introduced equal marriage in 2013, homosexuality is still against the law in Morocco, and same-sex marriages are strictly forbidden.

On Wednesday, the Cour de Cassation – France’s highest appeals court – found that denying the pair a marriage due to the convention was a violation of their human rights.

The court also ruled that as long as the Moroccan had a connection to France, such as residency, the convention could not be used ban the pair’s wedding.

The move could set a precedent that will impact foreign nationals from other countries which have agreements with France, specifically Algeria, Laos, Cambodia, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Slovenia.

A British man, Ray Cole, was briefly imprisoned in Morocco last year for ‘homosexual acts’.

However, following a public pressure campaign he was released, and all charges against him and his Moroccan partner were dropped