UPDATE: France: Couple officially married again after 'virginity lie' appeal overturned
Today, the appeals court in Douai overturned the annulment, effectively ruling that the couple are married, said Xavier Labbee, the husband's lawyer.
Labbee said the latest ruling amounted to a "forced marriage." He criticised "the intrusion of the notion of secularism into the most intimate parts of family life".
Both the woman and the man opposed the appeal, according to their lawyers. The woman's lawyer, Charles-Edouard Mauger, has said she was distraught by the dragging out of the humiliating case.
The couple must now seek a divorce if they want to separate.
Prosecutors argued the annulment discriminated against women and wanted it thrown out. The lower court had based its decision on an article of the French Civil Code that states that a spouse can seek an annulment if the partner has misrepresented his or her "essential qualities."
The couple, a man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s, has not been named.
In today's decision, the appeals court said virginity was not "a condition posed for their union", according to a statement from the prosecutor's office. It said the lie was not enough to justify an annulment.
17 November 2008
Source: The Guardian
France: French courts annuls marriage because bride was not a virgin
30/05/2008: France plunged into a heated debate about its marriage laws on Friday after learning that a court had annulled the union of two Muslims because the husband said the wife was not the virgin she had claimed to be. (Reuters)
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