An appeals court in France has allowed a gay man to marry his Moroccan partner, despite a legal agreement between France and Morocco that states citizens of those countries must be subject to their own country’s marriage laws.
Same-sex relations are illegal in Morocco, with some individuals facing up to 3 years imprisonment. In 1981 France signed an agreement with Moroccan authorities stating citizens of Morocco would be subject to Moroccan, not French, law.
Because of the agreement previous attempts by Moroccan citizens to marry French partners have been rejected.
The court’s decision comes after a gay couple brought forward an appeal after their previous attempt to marry was blocked by a French court citing the 1981 agreement. The couple, Dominique (French) and Mohammed (Moroccan), are now legally able to marry after two seperate courts agreed to go against the standing agreement.
According to one court, either country’s authorities could disregard the agreement if an individual’s basic human rights were affected. Under French law the right to marry should be available to all people.
The court also ruled that French law in circumstances like this would extend to the partner of French citizens.
The court decision was widely praised by many LGBT groups, many of who claim that the recent news may open the gates for many similar cases in which mixed-nationality gay couples are subjected to conflicting laws.