PARIS (Reuters) - The Constitutional Council on Friday confirmed the illegality of gay marriage in the current French law, leaving to the legislature to amend the Constitution to allow it if he wishes.
Associations for gays and lesbians have lamented a decision "medieval", hoping, in unison with the left parties, a change of government at the next presidential election to advance this social issue.
The "Wise Men" were seized by a couple of women, Corinne Cestino Haßlau and Sophie, who felt the ban on gay marriage violates the principle of equality and non-compliant with this Constitution.
"Our struggle evidently does not stop today," said Sophie Haßlau on France 2 after the announcement of the decision of the Council. "We will consider legal steps to succeed," she added.
Members of the Constitutional Council should decide on two articles of the Civil Code which exclude marriage of same sex.
The Commission considers in its ruling "the challenged provisions of the Civil Code with the Constitution" the legislature had intended that marriage "is the union of one man and one woman."
"It is not the Constitutional Council to substitute its opinion for that of legislators on the consideration in this matter, that difference" between same sex and opposite sex, say the "Wise Men" in a statement.
This decision does not prevent Parliament from voting a text that would legalize gay marriage, as is already the case in several European countries, including Spain.
The current majority is opposed to its legalization, while all the opposition is in favor, with some slight differences parties.
Marriage remains described in French law as exclusively the union of one man and one woman.
MINUS THE FULL PACS
Henri Guaino, special adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy said just before the verdict of the Sages that this was a social debate that should not be ruled by law.
"It may be a matter of presidential campaigns, debate policy, parliamentary debate, no discussion of law," he said on LCI.
After the announcement of the Constitutional Council, the Socialist Party, the Communists and Ecology Europe-The Greens have promised to include same-sex marriage law, if the left won the 2012 presidential election.
For me Mécary Carolina, lawyer of several same-sex couples, the Council has lost a "historic opportunity to put an end to discrimination against homosexuals three million French.
More virulent, the Association Act-Up has denounced the decision as "cowards".
"It adds to our fury. Faced with this relentless homophobic, we will blow for blow 'our rights, we will seek them with your teeth", promises Act-Up.
The couple of women who had entered the Wise lives with four children, one born of a first marriage of one of two, three conceived by artificial insemination in Belgium.
In 2004, a marriage between two men was celebrated by the deputy mayor of Bègles (Gironde), Christmas Mamère (Greens), but was then quashed by the Court of Cassation.
Eight European countries permit marriage of same sex: Belgium, Spain, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
In 1999, the "plural left" has passed the Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS), contract, open to heterosexual and homosexual couples, halfway between marriage and cohabitation. If he now has many rights, the PACS is not as complete as marriage, especially as regards inheritance.
A majority (58%) of French people support gay marriage, which shows a marked shift in opinion over the past five years, according to a TNS Sofres for Canal + aired Friday.