French gay marriage laws exclude some foreigners

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Gay couples where one of them is from certain countries that do not recognise same-sex unions have discovered they can't get married in France.

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When France legalised gay marriage earlier this year, it was trumpeted by the government as a key moment for equality. However, some couples soon found out they couldn’t get married because of a legal loophole, reprots RFI.

Frenchwoman Lise and her Polish girlfriend Agnieszka have been together for three years. They were looking forward to getting married after France this year became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage, following months of bitter debate.

"We were also really happy because it meant that we were accepted by the society," Agnieszka said. "Then our relationship can be recognised, and we are not freaks or…"

"Different," Lise added.

But under a bilateral agreement signed between Poland and France in 1967, Agnieszka falls under Polish marriage law even while in France. Since Poland doesn’t recognise gay marriage, a French magistrate would have to overrule Polish law to approve the wedding.

Read more of this report from RFI.

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