Two French women who have been living together for 15 years and who have four children challenged the constitutionality of the country’s law on banning the gay marriage. The Constitutional Council has now ruled that the ban is not against the constitution.
It’s remarkable that the French in general have such a liberal attitude to matters of sexuality, yet the government proves to be conservative when it comes to “family values”.
This was not always the case. From wikipedia on the History of Same-Sex Unions:
In late medieval France, it is possible the practice of entering a legal contract of “enbrotherment” (affrèrement) provided a vehicle for civil unions between unrelated male adults who pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse. This legal category may represent one of the earliest forms of sanctioned same-sex unions. [sic]
So much for the dark ages.