Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"demarriage" and French PACS

This post is two steps removed from its original source, since it's a guest post on a blog that's not mine. It's written by Barry from Baslow's Electric OmniumGatherum, cross-posted at Women's Glib. The whole post is worth a read, for the anecdotal aspect, but the part that really caught my attention was the reference to the French PACS, short for pacte civil de solidarité.

"[it] is a form of civil union between two adults (same-sex or opposite-sex) for organising their joint life. It brings rights and responsibilities, but less so than marriage. From a legal standpoint, a PACS is a “contract” drawn up between the two individuals, which is stamped and registered by the clerk of the court. In some areas, couples signing a PACS have the option of undergoing a formal ceremony at the City Hall identical to that of civil marriage. Individuals who have registered a PACS are still considered “single” with regard to family status for some purposes, while they are increasingly considered in the same way as married couples are for other purposes."

Barry notes correctly that PACS are not regarded in the same way as marriage in France, in that family status of PACS signatories is still considered single, and PACS signatories without marriage licenses (namely same-sex couples) cannot adopt. But it's certainly something, in that a lot of the legal crap regarding healthcare and estate dispute that same-sex couples deal with here can be avoided in France if there is a PACS involved.

I'm in agreement with Barry that I would REALLY like a way to recognize the legal aspects of a marriage-type union without the religious and pseudo-moralistic connotations. For those who wish to ascribe religious significance to their union, why not, but not every marriage has anything religious about it. Not to mention the fact that the pseudo-religious regulations about marriage in the US are definitely Christianized in ways that, constitutionally, have no business in legislation.

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